Care Home Boss Stole £6k From Disabled Woman

THE boss of a care home for disabled people who stole £6,000 from a vulnerable resident yesterday escaped a jail sentence.

Judge Mr Justice Davis let Marilyn Taylor walk free with a suspended sentence – despite noting that he could not be sure Taylor was remorseful.

Taylor, 65, was the service manager for the Leonard Cheshire Home, Cartref Dyffryn Ceiriog, Dolywern near Llangollen.

She was responsible for the care and financial affairs of 34 people with disabilities.

But she emptied the bank account of one young woman whose condition was such that she was not aware of day-to-day matters, Mold Crown Court was told.

Taylor, of Beresford Gardens, Brook Street in Oswestry, admitted five charges of theft between April 2005 and June 2005, amounting to £6,000.

A further seven charges of theft and false accounting, which she denied, had been dropped by the prosecution at an earlier occasion.

She received an eight-month prison sentence suspended for 15 months, and was ordered to carry out 150 hours’ unpaid work.

The judge also set down a time table under The Proceeds of Crime Act and a financial hearing will be held to determine how much, if any, can be confiscated.

Taylor claimed that while she had taken the money, it had been spent for the benefit of the victim and other residents at the home.

But her barrister Dafydd Roberts said that she had to accept that she could not prove that, and could not positively put that assertion before the court.

Mr Justice Davis said that it was not just a personal tragedy for her, but a matter which involved serious criminality.

“You were sufficiently trusted to be promoted at the Leonard Cheshire Home – people relied upon you and you abused that trust in a significant way,” he told her.

The judge said that he was not sure that the defendant was remorseful for what she had done and she could not account for where the money had gone.

“It is because of people like you, what you have done, that people lose faith in entrusting their relatives to care homes,” the judge said.

The public had to know that when people committed such a serious breach of trust then they would be punished by imprisonment.

But he said that he was of the opinion that in view of her guilty plea and her good character, she had done enough good in her life that the inevitable prison sentence could be suspended.

Prosecutor John Philpotts said that Taylor began working at the home as a bank nurse in 2001, became a nurse there full time, became care supervisor and in 2003 was appointed service manager.

She was authorised to withdraw cash on behalf of residents and it was alleged that she had spoken to another member of staff that some residents had too much money in their accounts.

The defendant decided to refurbish the room of the victim, although she was not authorised to make such a decision.

A member of staff became concerned about some of the receipts that had been provided, and when Taylor became aware of that she said that some old receipts should be archived.

She was suspended when concerns were expressed to the area manager and it was discovered that the defendant’s account had been emptied, and there were no invoices to cover it.

Mr Philpotts said that the prosecution did not accept that the money she had taken had been spent in the home for the benefit of residents.

Dafydd Roberts, defending, said that it was a tragedy for a woman such as Taylor to be in court on such serious offences. She was now retired and was unlikely ever to be in court again.