Care worker who stole £8,000 from resident avoids jail
A team leader who stole more than £8,000 from an elderly resident at a care home near Oswestry has been spared an immediate prison sentence.
Becky Jones who worked in the role at Hengoed Park residential home, appeared at Shrewsbury Crown Court yesterday.
Mr Antony Longworth, prosecuting, said one of the care home’s residents was a man in his 90s who had a number of difficulties which meant he could not cope for himself.
He said 41-year-old Jones managed to get hold of his bank card and pin number and used it to withdraw about £8,490 from his bank account over a period of around three months.
It came to light after the elderly resident received a letter from his bank which was passed to the deputy manager of the care home.
The deputy manager discovered a lot of money had been withdrawn from his bank account which could not be accounted for.
Police and Shropshire Council’s safeguarding team were contacted and investigations launched.
Mr Longworth said various CCTV recordings showed Jones at cash machines withdrawing money.
She admitted to police that she had thrown the bank card away and went on to say she was in a substantial amount of debt.
Mr Longworth said: “She said she had stolen the money to pay off her own debts and intended to pay it back in some way.”
The court heard that Jones said she was going to leave cash in envelopes in the resident’s room.
Mr Longworth said: “It’s clearly a gross breach of trust. She was in a position of responsibility.”
Jones, of Hammonds Place, Gobowen, had pleaded guilty to fraud, dating back to between March and July 2017, at an earlier court hearing.
Mr Robert Edwards, representing Jones, told the court: “It’s a very sad case indeed.”
He said the offending had stopped before it was detected and she had finally come to her senses.
Mr Edwards said: “It’s a classic case of head in the sand.
“The defendant accrued large debts.”
He said she had come from a deprived background growing up and did not want the same for her children.
Mr Edwards said she failed to speak to her husband about her finances and it was a “stupid” decision to make.
He said she could assure the court that the money would be paid back.
Recorder Roger Evans handed her an eight-month prison sentence suspended for a period of two years. She must also do 250 hours unpaid work.
The court heard that prosecutors will now either apply for a compensation order from the court or seek to get the money back through a proceeds of crime hearing at a later date.
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