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Care home worker stole bank card from 94-year-old resident - and used it 27 times

By Dominic Robertson | Llangollen | Crime | Published:

A care home worker stole an 94-year-old resident's bank card from her room and used it 27 times to make purchases – including alcohol and cigarettes.

Defendant Jill Rheade, 58, was told her behaviour was contemptible.

Her own mother was a resident at the same home – Llangollen Fechan at Llangollen.

A judge told her she would not expect her mother to be treated that way but with kindness, dignity and respect.

Mold Crown Court heard that while Rheade's family were supportive they now insisted that she should be supervised when she visited her own mum.

Rheade, of Cottage Lane in St Martin's, Rheade, who had never been in any trouble before, admitted fraud but was spared immediate custody.

A six-month prison sentence was suspended for a year, she must carry out 100 hours unpaid work and she was ordered to pay £556 compensation.

The court heard that the bank had made good the loss to the victim, a 94-year-old lady with various illnesses and memory problems.

Judge Parry branded the defendant's behaviour contemptible.

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"It beggars belief, quite frankly, " he said.

She was the daughter of an elderly lady being cared for at the same home.

Inexplicable

Her mother suffered from dementia and the judge said she would expect her to be treated with kindness, dignity and respect.

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But while working as a laundry worker at the home she took advantage of a 94-year-old woman who suffered ill-health and memory loss.

"You were trusted to enter her room but for some inexplicable reason you opened a drawer, then her bag and took the card which you used 27 times.

"You had an opportunity to stop and think every time you used it.

"But you didn't."

She had bought cigarettes and alcohol, not paying rent.

The judge said there were two very powerful points in mitigation – she admitted what she had done in interview and she had pleaded guilty.

She had no previous convictions, had acted out of character, and he said he accepted that it was partly down to financial difficulties at the time.

Prosecuting barrister Jo Maxwell told how the defendant used the card to buy purchases under £30 which did not require a PIN.

Defending barrister Matthew Curtis said that his client was sorry to the victim, her daughter, the home and to the wider community.

"She struggles to understand how she came to take the card in the first place," he said.

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