A man who offered to carry out gardening work for a pensioner suffering from Alzheimer's Disease stole £15,000 from her bank account, a court heard.
Peter Hall used the money from his victim, who is in her 70s, to pay off gambling debts, creditors and buy drinks.
At Stafford Crown Court yesterday, Hall (50), was jailed for 18 months after he admitted two charges of theft.
Sarah Buckingham, prosecuting, told Judge David McEvoy QC that Hall, of Rosliston Road, Walton-on-Trent, Derbyshire, offered to carry out gardening work for her and she gave him two cheques for hundreds of pounds and believed she had cancelled them.
It was only when the victim's daughter became involved in May 2004 and looked in her mother's bank account that funds were found to be severely depleted, said Miss Buckingham.
Nigel Chollerton, defending, said: "He realises the amount of money and the lady's health are aggravating features. There is evidence of remorse by his guilty pleas and he accepts full responsibility."