Carer avoids jail after fraudulently obtaining £3,500 at Ipswich home

Suffolk Magistrates' Court in Ipswich Picture: ARCHANT

Sinead Burnett, from Ipswich, appeared at Suffolk Magistrates' Court on Tuesday (file photo) - Credit: Archant

A 29-year-old carer who fraudulently obtained almost £3,500 from bank cards at an Ipswich care home has avoided an immediate jail sentence.

Sinead Burnett appeared before Suffolk Magistrates' Court on Tuesday where she admitted one count of fraud.

Between December 25, 2020 and February 19 the following year, she committed fraud where she dishonestly made a false representation - namely using bank cards totalling £1,741.65.

After Burnett decided to engage with staff from Suffolk police's Op Converter team, which encourages criminals to admit further crimes, she admitted a further two offences that took place in early 2021 at the same care home.

During this time, about £1,700 in total was fraudulently obtained by Burnett.

Burnett was sentenced to six months in prison, suspended for 12 months, given 20 Rehabilitation Activity Requirement days with probation services and ordered to pay compensation of £4,104.31.

She was also ordered to pay £145 in costs.

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Duncan Etchells from the Op Converter team said: "We were able to complete our work with Burnett after very lengthy, detailed financial investigations by the investigating officer which then allowed the team to obtained detailed admissions of her criminality.

"We hope this punishment acts as a deterrent to her and other carers tempted to steal from people put in their care and I hope this gives at least some reassurance to the victims, their families and the wider community that Suffolk police will always use all investigative tactics to bring offenders such as Burnett to the courts.

"I’m also hopeful the sentence gives them closure to this sorry tale, where no-one wins."