Gobowen care worker sentenced after stealing £8,000 from elderly resident

Reporter:

Court Reporter

A care home worker in Gobowen stole more than £8,000 from the bank account of an elderly resident.

Becky Jones obtained the victim’s bank card and PIN number to withdraw from cash machines on various occasions, some of which were captured by CCTV cameras.

At Shrewsbury Crown Court, the 41-year-old escaped immediate prison and was given an eight-month sentence, suspended for two years.

Recorder Roger Evans also ordered Jones, of Hammonds Place, to complete 250 hours unpaid work.

Jones, who had been a team leader at the Hengoed Park residential home, had admitted fraud on various dates between March and July, this year.

The court heard the victim was a man in his 90s who had a number of difficulties which meant he could not cope for himself.

“It’s clearly a gross breach of trust. She was in a position of responsibility,” said prosecutor, Mr Anthony Longworth.

He said Jones managed to get hold of the pensioner’s bank card and PIN number and withdrew £8,490 from his account over a period of around three months.

Matters came to light after the pensioner received a letter from his bank which was passed to the deputy manager of the care home at Trewern Hall, Hengoed.

Jones had admitted to police that she had thrown the bank card away and that she was in a substantial amount of debt.

“She said she had stolen the money to pay off her own debts and intended to pay it back in some way,” said Mr Longworth.

The court heard that Jones said she was going to leave cash in envelopes in the resident’s room.

Mr Robert Edwards, for Jones, said the thefts had stopped before they were detected and his client had finally come to her senses.

“It’s a classic case of head in the sand. She had accrued large debts,” he said.

Mr Edwards said she failed to speak to her husband about her finances and it was a “stupid” decision to make and she intended to pay back the money.

A confiscation application under the Proceeds of Crime Act is expected to be heard on a later date.

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