Arrest warrant issued for carer who stole from autistic client

Sam Fearn, 19, of Genesta Drive, Thurston, near Bury St Edmunds was given a suspended sentence at Ipswich Crown Court

Gaspar Soares Dourado Marques failed to attend his hearing at Ipswich Crown Court - Credit: Charlotte Bond

A judge has issued a warrant for the arrest of an Ipswich carer who stole more than £500 from an autistic client after he failed to attend his sentencing hearing.

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

He was due to have been sentenced at Ipswich Crown Court on Tuesday (June 21) but failed to attend

Recorder Jeremy Benson issued a warrant for his arrest backed for bail and adjourned the case.

Vital Healthcare supports people with learning disabilities, Aspergers/autistic spectrum disorders, and mental health needs, an earlier hearing was told.

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

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. 

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Security officers at the Tesco store provided CCTV stills at the time of the transactions.

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

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.

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

A victim personal statement made by the victim and his 77-year-old grandmother said he felt "terribly let down" by Marques and his offending made him "more paranoid". 

Marques, of Foxhall Road, Ipswich, who has no previous convictions, pleaded guilty to fraud by abuse of position.

At the earlier hearing 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.