Care worker accused of fraud made post it note mix up

Ipswich Crown Court Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

Clare Scarfe, a senior team leader at Peppercorn House in Peppercorn Way, Ipswich is accused of using an elderly man's bank account - Credit: Archant

An Ipswich care worker told police "God, I feel sick" when she was accused of defrauding an elderly resident and that she had mistaken the card numbers written on a post-it note as her own. 

Clare Scarfe, who was employed as a senior team leader at Peppercorn House in Peppercorn Way, Ipswich, is accused of using an 80-year-old's card on two occasions.

The mum of two boys, from Eccles Road, Ipswich denied two counts of fraud on January 21 and February 5 2018, and claims that she had accidentally mistaken the 80-year-old man's card number for her own. 

On Wednesday, Benedict Peers for the defence called Ms Scarfe to explain that this was "not intentional" after the man's cards were used for a Domino's pizza order worth £45 and a repair bill of £354 for her BMW.

The court heard Ms Scarfe was injured in a car crash with a drunk driver in 2008 as she drove home from working at Ipswich Hospital and takes morphine daily for severe pain in her leg.

The 47-year-old said she suffered memory lapses due to the drug and started writing down her bank card number on post-it notes.

She told the court that she could not take her bank card to work as there were no lockers and that she either left them with her sons or occasionally left them in her car.

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While working at the facility, she said on two occasions in January 2018 she was asked by the 80-year-old resident with Parkinson's to input his details for online payments for his old and new bank cards. He ordered another card after seeing the Domino's pizza charge. 

She told the court emergencies on both occasions meant she could not put the post-it with the resident's card numbers into the care home's "confidential" bin. 

She told the court she had read out the number on the post-it note in her bag on both occasions and did not realise it was the man's card number.

She was also waiting on a £10,000 payment from her savings during this time. 

The 47-year-old claims she did not know what had happened until she was questioned by police following her suspension from Peppercorn House.

Mr Peers said Ms Scarfe told police "God, I feel sick". 

Ms Scarfe, through tears, described to the court what she felt at the time of her police interview. 

The carer of more than 20 years said: "It was a sudden realisation as I had not put two and two together and the realisation what had happened. 

"It's an awful thing to happen to anyone and when you are in that position of trust to be accused of something like that is particularly awful."

The trial continues.

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