Hospital nurse jailed for £100K thefts from three elderly and vulnerable patients

A hospital nurse who targeted three elderly and vulnerable patients and stole more than £100,000 from them has been jailed for four years and six months.

Kelvin Ramasta, 30, abused his position of trust in a way that was “nothing short of horrific” while working at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge, Cambridgeshire Police said.

The defendant, of Perne Road, Cambridge, allegedly set up a bank account in the name of an elderly patient and transferred himself £1,000 per day for more than three months.

He was also said to have tried to cash in stolen cheques, and used a stolen card to buy food from a hospital vending machine.

Ramasta (pictured) first came to Cambridgeshire Police’s attention after a bank reported suspicious activity on his account.

The force said the bank claimed that a total of £102,000 had been transferred from another man to Ramasta, at the rate of £1,000 per day for more than three months.

This was alleged to have happened between November 8 2021 and February 24 2022, with the bank concerned that the other man was vulnerable due to his age.

Further checks found that Ramasta had opened a bank account in the 76-year-old man’s name while working in Addenbrooke’s Hospital.

The bank said that the fingerprints matched those used to open Ramasta’s own account.

The elderly man had been admitted to hospital in October 2021, with his family noting he had lost a lot of weight and was almost oblivious of what was going on around him.

He was discharged on November 15 2021 but was later diagnosed with dementia.

Police established that other patients at Addenbrooke’s Hospital had also reported thefts.

These included reports of a bank card and several cheques, belonging to a 74-year-old woman with Alzheimer’s, going missing.

The woman was admitted in March 2022 and died a week after her discharge in May that year, with the missing items reported by her daughter.

Ramasta had tried to cash in one cheque on the day he was suspended from work as a nurse, where he forged the elderly woman’s signature and spelt her surname incorrectly, police said.

On the dates the cheques were written the woman was bedbound and suffering from multiple organ failure.

Police said she was incapable of holding a pen at the time.

Ramasta attempted to cash in the fraudulent cheque a further three times and had also used the woman’s card to buy £2.70 worth of food from a hospital vending machine.

He was arrested and interviewed on May 4 2022, when he denied the allegations.

A week later, police were contacted about a third victim, an 85-year-old woman whose bank cards were stolen from her purse and used.

The woman’s family described her as extremely vulnerable and lacking in mental capacity.

Checks by her family revealed her bank card had been used 11 times, between April 18 and April 26, to spend £203.29.

The woman had been on the same ward as Ramasta’s second victim.

Ramasta admitted at an earlier hearing at Peterborough Crown Court to three counts of theft, Cambridgeshire Police said.

He was sentenced at the same court on Wednesday to four years and six months in prison, the force said.

Detective Constable Mark Andrews, from the force’s Adult Abuse Investigation Safeguarding Unit, said: “Ramasta targeted elderly and vulnerable patients in his care and abused his position of trust as a nurse.

“To steal money in this way is nothing short of horrific.

“The impact his actions have had on his victims and their families cannot be underestimated.”

He said that the daughter of one victim said in a victim impact statement that she was “heartbroken that someone would steal from a vulnerable, seriously ill man”.

In another statement, the daughter of a different victim said she was left “extremely sad and sickened that someone would take advantage of a very poorly, confused elderly lady – and that the discovery had compromised her trust in care professionals”.

“The daughter of Ramasta’s third victim said her faith in the hospital environment and their staff broke in an instant and what happened still plays on her mind, even now,” said the detective.

“I hope this sentencing brings some closure for his victims and their families and highlights how seriously both we and the courts take crimes of this nature.”

A Cambridge University Hospitals spokesperson said: “We wholeheartedly apologise to all of those affected by this appalling crime.

“As soon as we were alerted to the concerns, we took all appropriate action to safeguard our patients and worked closely with the police throughout their investigation.

“The safety and care of our patients is always our top priority.”

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