A BRAZILIAN care attendant who stole from two elderly people suffering from mental health problems has been jailed for 27 months at Worcester Crown Court.

Recorder Rachel Brand QC said 43-year-old Fernando Scali had betrayed the trust of the families of his victims. He pleaded guilty to two charges of theft.

Prosecutor Jackie Rogers said Scali was employed by an agency and had been called in by Mary Baron after her husband was taken ill. After Mr Baron’s death, Scali was given rent-free accommodation in a chalet in her grounds.

The arrangement was for him to provide care for Mrs Baron but her family noticed that items were disappearing from her house. Scali suggested it was due to her confusion. But after she was taken into hospital in April last year, relatives discovered that Scali had been taken items for sale to several auction houses. It was estimated that more than £5,000 worth of property had been disposed of in this way.

Mrs Baron had been a talented musician and her prized cello had disappeared. Only some of the stolen items have been recovered.

Scali, whose address was given in court as Credenleigh, Cradley, Malvern, was also called upon to help Gordon Clarke, a man in his 80s who was suffering from dementia. When he was eventually moved to a care home his family discovered that his prized stamp album, which he had willed to his daughter, was missing. This had also been sold.

When interviewed by police, Scali at first denied the allegations and then offered to pay £5,800 restitution to the families. He said he had been paying £3,000 a month to support his family and also buy land in Brazil.

Rosslyn Caldicott, defending, said Scali wanted to make amends by reimbursing the families.

Recorder Brand said an aggravating feature of the case was that Scali was using his stolen money to buy the land.