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Shifnal support worker stole more than £2,000 from vulnerable person he was caring for

By Rory Smith | Shifnal | Crime | Published:

A support worker stole more than £2,000 from a vulnerable person he was caring for a year after winning £50,000.

Telford Magistrates Court heard that Thomas Hill's gambling addiction had "spiralled out of control" as he pleaded guilty to theft yesterday.

The father of two was sentenced to 12 weeks in prison suspended for 18 months, 300 hours unpaid work and fined £2,380.

The 23-year-old stole a total of £2,080 over four days from Steven Cassell while working for Swanton Care in December last year.

Sara Beddows, prosecuting, said: "On the 14th of December Mr Cassell discovered his debit card was missing.

"The police were called and it was discovered that £2,080 had gone missing from the account.

"Mr Cassell later said his friend and support worker Tom Hill took the card.

"Mr Hill joined the company in 2018 as a support worker."

The court heard the victim suffered from learning difficulties and the card had been missing for three days before he realised.

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Miss Beddows added: "The defendant admitted he found the card and admitted he had a gambling addiction that had spiralled out of control.

Responsibility

"He hasn't paid anything back to date although he promised to do so.

"This is a severe breach of trust where a significant amount of money was taken."

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Adrian Roberts, defending, said: "Mr Hill wasn't in charge of the card. He found it on the floor and went on to take it that way.

"He's a man of previous good character. He is the father of two children and he clearly has a great deal of responsibility as a father.

"Last year he won a significant amount of money, about £50,000.

"He spent every last penny he won and he spent all of his wages. He's let himself down as well as the victim."

The court heard Hill, of Sycamore Close, Shifnal, took the money over a period of four days.

"He's completed a three-month course on gambling and hasn't bet at all since the new year," added Roberts.

Hill was fined £185 court costs, £2,080 compensation and a £115 victim surcharge.

The chair of the magistrate bench said Hill had committed "a despicable act against a vulnerable person."

Rory Smith

By Rory Smith
Reporter - @rorysmith_star

Trainee news reporter based at the Shropshire Star's Ketley office in Telford.

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