Carer With A Prison Record Fleeced Client

A JUDGE has expressed surprise that a cocaine-user with a prison record was allowed to become a care manager who went on to steal nearly £5,000 from a sick man.

Care company Positive Lifestyles was said to have known that Simon Davies, 43, was going to jail for supplying drugs in 1997 yet kept his job open for him.

By 2007, he was an assistant manager and working in a residential home in Canton, Cardiff, providing support in the community for people with mental health problems.

Prosecutor Tony Trigg told Cardiff Crown Court – where Davies was jailed for eight months yesterday after admitting theft – that he had access to some clients’ bank accounts and PINs to withdraw cash on their behalf.

But Davies, of Maerdy Park, Pencoed, a former soldier who saw active service in the Gulf, ended up under arrest because a paranoid schizophrenic he looked after wanted a new television set.

“When the client was taken to the HSBC bank in February this year to get the cash for his TV, there wasn’t enough money in the account,” said Mr Trigg.

He added that £200 had been taken out of the account in May 2007. A further 33 transactions totalling £4,800 followed.

The man became upset in the bank but was said to have been calmed by a promise from the care staff with him that he would somehow still be able to make his purchase.

Mr Trigg said: “It was discovered that £200 had been taken out of his account in May 2007 and a further 33 transactions had followed until £4,800 was missing.

“Davies was arrested in April and fully admitted it but didn’t give any explanation about why he was so desperate that he resorted to stealing from such a vulnerable person.”

The court heard Davies had a record of 13 offences, including the drug supply 10 years ago, a further drug matter in 2004 and one of drink-driving in 2006.

When Judge Christopher Llewellyn-Jones QC asked if the company knew about his past, Mr Trigg told him: “One would have thought so, when police checks are done.”

Jennet Treharne, defending, said it had been a mean offence but done against a background of drug taking which started after Davies came out of the army with honours, took a factory job and received £64,000 compensation for an industrial injury.

He could suddenly afford to buy drugs and needed them partly because of his Gulf experiences, she said.

His marriage has since broken down but he keeps in touch with his two young children.

“He is utterly ashamed, wants to pay the man back and has been given £5,000 by his mother to do it,” Ms Treharne added.

She said Davies had started in the care industry after his factory accident and, even when he was jailed, he was able to come out and continue work, having “impressed them before he went in”.

Jailing him, the judge said he was surprised Positive Lifestyles employed him.

“It’s extraordinary you kept your job,” he told him.

“They must have had great trust in you to retain you despite that period of imprisonment.”

Davies was said to have since sought drugs counselling.