Jail for Telford carer who stole nearly £20,000
A Telford carer who stole thousands of pounds from a disabled client to feed her gambling addiction has been jailed for 10 months.
Marie Macbeth took nearly £20,000 from the bank account of Christopher Roberts, who suffered life-changing injuries in a motorbike accident years ago and now requires 24-hour care, Shrewsbury Crown Court heard.
Mr Robert Edwards, prosecuting, said Macbeth, 32, had been one of Mr Roberts’ carers when she withdrew the cash using his bank card, and transferred the money into her own account. The fraud came to light after Mr Roberts’ family carried out a review of his finances following a letter being sent from his bank saying he was overdrawn.
Mr Edwards said amounts of up to £300 at a time had been withdrawn and money had also been transferred to a bank account in the name of Macbeth.
Macbeth made admissions to Mr Roberts’ relatives when asked about the allegations and the matter was reported to police. She was immediately suspended from her job.
The court was told she also admitted to police what she had done and explained that she had a gambling addiction.
Mr Edwards said it was estimated she had taken nearly £20,000. Although she repaid some of the money, she still owes more than £3,800.
He added: “The crown would say it is a high impact case, that Mr Roberts was particularly vulnerable having both physical and mental disabilities.”
Macbeth, of Chepstow Drive, Leegomery, admitted fraud by abuse of position, with the charge relating to the period between January 2016 and December 2018.
Danny Smith, representing Macbeth, said: “She is truly sorry for the offending she has done.”
“As a result of her offending, as well as losing her good character, she has lost everything.
“She finds herself without her long-term partner, without employment.”
He said that she is now also bankrupt.
Judge Peter Barrie said it had been a “sustained and carefully planned operation” but accepted that Macbeth had shown remorse.
Sentencing her to 10 months in prison, he said: “You were employed as a professional carer to look after Mr Roberts.
“Mr Roberts suffered from both physical and mental disabilities as a result of an accident a long time ago.
“He was dependent on those who cared for him.
“As part of your responsibilities to look after him you had access to his finances.
“You abused the trust that was placed in you by setting out to spend his money on your own gambling addiction.”
The judge said he could not suspend her sentence, adding: “I cannot state too highly how firmly the courts must deplore people who are employed in a position of trust and caring and to take advantage of it.”
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