Devon care worker who stole £7,000 from resident faces jail

A FORMER care home worker from Teignmouth who pleaded guilty to stealing thousands of pounds from an elderly woman could be facing a prison sentence.

Elizabeth Clark, 55, of Grange Drive, pleaded guilty to one charge of theft and two charges of fraud by false representation.

Newton Abbot magistrates heard Clark committed the offences while working as an administrator at Sefton Hall residential and nursing home.

She admitted stealing more than £7,000 from 88-year-old Sefton Hall resident Gladys Peters.

The court heard that the offences only came to light when the victim’s niece noticed irregularities in Mrs Peters’ bank account.

She faced one offence under the Theft Act of stealing £4,086.11 in cash.

The offence happened between March 25, 2009 and August 5, 2009 in Dawlish when Clark made 17 withdrawals from a cash machine.

Clark also faced two charges of fraud by false representation. Magistrates heard that on June 2, 2009 at Teignmouth she used a cheque to pay £2,500 into an account, contrary to the Fraud Act.

A few weeks later on June 16 at Teignmouth, she used a cheque in the sum of £1,201.62 to pay into an account intending to cause loss to Gladys Peters, contrary to the Fraud Act.

Prosecuting Philip Sewell said: “The defendant did not know how much she had appropriated, but she attempted to cover her tracks by manipulating Mrs Peters.”

Clark was arrested by police last December.

Mr Sewell continued: “In interview the admission came out in dribs and drabs and it was only after further investigation that the full admission came out.”

Mr Sewell said Clark had repaid £7,783 to Mrs Peters whom he described as ‘a vulnerable victim with no other means of protecting her own interests’.

Nicholas Bradley, representing Clark, made no further comments.

The chairman of the bench adjourned proceedings for a pre-sentence report.

He told Clark: “This was done intentionally and from a position of trust.”

He continued: “Repayment was given, but we will be considering an all options report.”

Clark was bailed to appear before Torquay Magistrates for sentencing at 11am on Monday, March 22.