A disabled woman has been robbed of the chance to speak after her carer stole £37,000 which she had saved for life-changing treatment.
Cerebral palsy victim Tania Crowe was hoping to speak for the first time in 37 years after saving enough cash for ground-breaking therapy in America.
But her callous carer Katherine Gregory, 31, was secretly draining her bank account to spend on luxuries – including a three-week holiday to the US.
Gregory has now been jailed for two years after she was convicted of theft at Bristol Crown Court.
After the case heartbroken Tania, 44, told of her “hatred” for the carer and how her dream of speaking is now in tatters.
In a hand-written note she said: “I feel hatred for her. I am angry, very angry, because it could have given me a life.
“I want to work, I don’t want to sponge off the government all my life.
“I wanted to work with disadvantaged kids, kids for whom society has got no time, because I have got so much love in my heart to give.
“I have empathy and compassion, which in my view is lacking in this horrible world today.
“I wanted to change lives if I could, because I know what it feels like as I’ve been in that position all my life.
“I want to do things, I want to raise money by doing a parachute jump or a wing walk.”
Tania, of Yate, Bristol, was left unable to speak at the age of seven as the debilitating condition took hold.
Through inheritance and carefully managing her budget, she had saved £37,000 towards the £100,000 she needed for a course of life-changing speech therapy in America.
She met Gregory in 2008 when she was an agency worker sent to care for her.
The two women became close and Gregory suggested the advantages of online banking, but their professional relationship ended when Gregory moved to Weston-super-Mare, Somerset.
In autumn 2010 Gregory got back in touch with Tania offering her services again as a carer, telling her she had set up her own agency.
Tania welcomed her back and Gregory quickly raised the issue of online banking once more.
She took her advice and agreed for Gregory and her husband to set up four accounts in her name.
Within days of setting up the banking Gregory began to transfer large sums into her own account, taking a total of £37,500 over 14 months.
The pair’s relationship ended around November 2011, but Gregory “bombarded” Tania with texts and calls and continued to take her money.
Tania eventually realised her money was being stolen and complained to police but Gregory tried to claim the cash was ‘a gift’.
After the case, Tania wrote: “What she did played with my mind, and I don’t think two years was enough. But it is court, so anything is better than nothing, I guess.
“It wasn’t just the 30-odd grand from my account, it was the stealing of my personal goods as well, which all adds up.
“It was the loads of money in old notes, and all that I bought her from Ideal World and QVC off the TV.
“She really did hurt me, big time.”
A hearing to establish and confiscate Gregory’s proceeds of crime was set for March 28.