A Filipino worker at a care home in Shropshire stole a bank card from an elderly resident and withdrew more than £5,000 in cash in just 11 days, a court has heard.
April Bustria told police she took the money from the account of dementia sufferer Audrey Hartley, a resident at Stretton Hall Nursing Home in Church Stretton, to pay for her father’s heart surgery in the Philippines.
The 27-year-old admitted fraud, by falsely representing to Lloyds TSB that she had to the authority to use the debit card of Mrs Hartley, when she appeared at Shrewsbury Magistrates Court yesterday.
Miss Sara Beddow, prosecuting, said £5,200 was taken from the account between December 12 and December 23 last year.
She told the court the victim’s sister and a close friend had been given power of attorney to deal with her affairs, and realised cash had gone missing from the account during a visit to the bank to set up a standing order to pay the care home fees.
“They attended the home to try and locate the card, and it was found in Mrs Hartley’s purse with the pin number written down on a piece of paper next to it,” Miss Beddow told the court.
Police were called in to investigate and Bustria, of Ludlow Road, Craven Arms, was later arrested after she was seen on CCTV in the bank and at the cash machine at around the dates and times cash was withdrawn.
She made a full admission to the offences after police showed her the footage, the court was told.
Mr Shakeel Ahmed, for Bustria, said: “At the tail end of last year she was contacted by her family back in the Philippines and told her father was quite seriously ill and needed heart surgery.
“This offence is committed in the context of that telephone call.
“The family had no other means and the defendant was on a very low income as a care assistant.
“She did not make any financial gain and this was by no means a sophisticated fraud.”
Magistrates decided their sentencing powers were not sufficient to deal with the case. Bustria was bailed to be sentenced at Shrewsbury Crown Court on a date and time to be fixed.
By court reporter Wayne Beese