Ipswich carer stole £570 from autistic client's bank account

Tesco Express in Duke Street, Ipswich, was one of the shops targeted

The cash was withdrawn from the ATM at Tesco Express in Duke Street - Credit: Google

An Ipswich carer stole more than £500 from an autistic client after withdrawing cash with his bank card, a court heard. 

Gaspar Soares Dourado Marques, 34, stole the money between January 11 and March 29 this year while working for Ipswich-based Vital Healthcare, Suffolk Magistrates' Court heard. 

The care agency supports people with learning disabilities, Aspergers/autistic spectrum disorders, and mental health needs, Colette Harper, prosecuting, told the court. 

Marques was providing support to a 29-year-old man with autism and Asperger’s syndrome, who was living in supported housing, Mrs Harper told magistrates. 

Concerns were raised over Marques and it was discovered £570 had been taken from the client's account in cash withdrawals from the ATM outside Tesco Express in Duke Street, Ipswich. 

Security officers at the Tesco store provided CCTV stills at the time of the transactions, Mrs Harper said. 

Vital Healthcare confirmed Marques had been caring for the client at the time and suspended him, pending a police investigation. 

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Marques was arrested and made full admissions in police interview, the court heard. 

He said he spent the money on shopping, personal expenses and sent some to his mother in Portugal, Mrs Harper told the court. 

Marques resigned from his role at Vital Healthcare following his arrest. 

Mrs Harper read a victim personal statement to the court from the victim and his 77-year-old grandmother. 

It said the man felt "terribly let down" by Marques and his offending made him "more paranoid". 

Marques, of Foxhall Road, Ipswich, who had no previous convictions, pleaded guilty to fraud by abuse of position on September 29 and a pre-sentence report was ordered by magistrates. 

Appearing for sentence on Wednesday, Marques, who was not represented in court, said he was "deeply sorry" for what he had done. 

He said at the time of the offence he was feeling "very desperate" about his financial situation and much of the money had been spent on food. 

Magistrates committed the case to crown court as they felt their sentencing powers were not sufficient. 

Marques was granted unconditional bail by magistrates and will appear at Ipswich Crown Court for sentence on a date to be fixed.