Nagina McKechnie said she was trying to help Frank Brown, who had moved into a care home and was worried about a £297 water bill for his home on Harewood Avenue in Bulwell.
His neighbour McKechnie had keys for the home but arrived to find that metal shutters had been fitted over the doors so she broke a kitchen window and climbed in.
The court was told she was found inside the house when police arrived at 8pm on Christmas Eve.
Daniel Pietryka, prosecuting, said a neighbour saw McKechnie in the back garden of Mr Brown’s home and noticed that a rear window had been broken.
She became difficult when police arrived, explaining that she was the carer of the tenant who had been treated in hospital and had now been moved into a home. McKechnie said the heater had been “costing him money.”
And although she had a key, she had been unable to unlock the door so she used a brick to smash the window before climbing in.
Mr Pietryka added: “She apologised and said she was willing to pay for the damage.”
Jessica Vogel, mitigating, said: “Mr Brown was extremely concerned that the bills would keep racking up because the hot water was still on.”
The court heard that McKechnie had acted as carer to Mr Brown for several years, washing and cooking for him
But he was taken ill and was treated in hospital before being moved to a care home.
McKechnie told magistrates that Mr Brown is an 89-year-old war veteran.
She said: “It was worth it for him, he’s just like an uncle to me. The council want shooting!”
McKechnie, 54, admitted causing damage at the property owned by Nottingham City Homes and was ordered to pay a £90 repair bill and a £85 victim surcharge.
Presiding magistrate Eric Baker imposed a six-month conditional discharge.
He said: “We realise although you did something wrong, you did it for the best possible reasons.”
She must pay the bill at £20 a month from her earnings as a part-time cleaner.