A CARE worker from a Worcester-based company stole jewellery from the homes of elderly people, including a woman of 93 suffering from dementia.

Victoria Anderson was working for Home Instead when she stole items, including those of tremendous sentimental value, from people she was supposed to be caring for, selling her haul to buy booze.

The 42-year-old alcoholic broke down in tears in the dock at Worcester Magistrates Court on Thursday, dabbing her eyes with a tissue, her face crumpling as details were read out by the prosecutor.

Afterwards, outside court and still sobbing, she said she had mental health issues and added: "This is not me."

The defendant of Edward Street, Evesham admitted six thefts in people's homes in June this year.

Ralph Robyns-Landricombe, prosecuting, said one elderly couple's daughter had contacted the company about £300 cash and a gold bracelet going missing 'since the carer known as Victoria started to care for her parents'.

Both victims were described as 'very frail' by their daughter.

"This led to Home Instead, the company, contacting the clients that the defendant had visited which led to several other clients coming forward to report thefts" said the prosecutor.

One reported £200 cash and a gold chain going missing. This victim was described as being 93 and suffering from dementia.

Two gold rings were stolen from one victim which had belonged to her late mother and were of 'great sentimental value'. Four items of jewellery were taken from another victim including items given to her by her late mum.

It was revealed that the jewellery had been sold to various jewellers by the defendant. She took jewellery from one victim's jewellery box and £50 in cash. Telling officers she had sold some of the jewellery, Anderson pulled out surgical gloves from her handbag which contained nine items which matched descriptions of the stolen items.

She admitted six offences in total when interviewed at Evesham Police Station. She expressed 'deep remorse for her actions' and became 'visibly upset' in interview.

"She said she was an alcoholic and stole to fund her drink habit and admitted selling the jewellery to jewellers for cash" said Mr Robyns-Landricombe.

Jewellers were unable to identify the stolen goods and officers were told the items had either been melted down or sold on.

"She repeatedly said how sorry she was" said the prosecutor. She said she was not sure whether she had taken one gold necklace but then added: "I must have taken it, mustn't I?"

Anderson had no previous convictions recorded against her.

Mark Sheward, defending, said: "The mischief here is alcohol. She tells me she has been addicted to alcohol for some years."

He described how she had lost three children who were all stillborn and her brother had died suddenly and she had fallen out with her sister. "She now accepts she is an alcoholic. It's quite out of character - she has never previously stolen anything or been involved in criminality" he said.

The court heard she stole two gold rings of value unknown from the home of a woman in Evesham on June 24 this year.

Anderson further admitted theft of jewellery and cash to the value of £80 in Pershore between June 1 and June 23; theft of jewellery and cash to the value of £200 in Evesham on June 24 this year; theft of jewellery of value unknown in Pershore between June 20 and 25; theft of a bottle of alcohol (Disaronno) in Evesham on June 1; theft of cash and jewellery in Evesham to the value of £50 on June 1. In total seven different victims have been identified and overall the value of the items stolen was said by the defence to be around £500.

Magistrates declined jurisdiction for the case and ordered a pre-sentence report to be prepared by the probation service.

The case was adjourned until December 10.