A MAN who defrauded a terminally ill woman out of more than £70,000 has been jailed for two-and-a-half years.

Wassim Al Ashkar, 32, of Oxford Road, Kidlington, was sentenced at Oxford Crown Court yesterday after pleading guilty to three counts of fraud by false representation in April.

Police say he used his 67-year-old victim's bank cards to steal £71,450 after working as a full-time live-in carer between 2011 and 2013.

The victim was bed-bound at her Kidlington home as she suffered from an advanced stage of multiple sclerosis, only leaving for occasional visits to hospital.

A relief carer noticed irregularities with her finances after Al Ashkar left the job in March 2013.
He was arrested the following month and police believe he spent most of the money on gambling in local bookmakers.

Investigating officer De Con Rebecca Prior said: "This was a long and arduous investigation and I’m happy that Al Ashkar pleaded guilty.

"This means the victim has been saved the uncertainty and indignity of a trial. Informing the victim of today’s result will be very rewarding, I’m just upset that there are people out there capable of this sort of crime in the first place."

Det Insp Larry Johnson, from the Oxfordshire Protecting Vulnerable People unit, said: "This offence was extremely serious. The victim is extremely vulnerable, relying completely on others as she reaches the end of her life.

"Sadly, the victim also has no immediate family, which means it is unlikely anyone would pursue a case for recovering the lost money from Al Ashkar.

"We are pleased this man is now in prison and hopefully this will serve as both a notice that crime does not and will not pay – but also a reminder of the dangers which can face the more vulnerable members of our society.

"If anyone has any suspicions or concerns about someone they know, please contact Thames Valley Police."