Carer drained £17k from account of 94-year-old woman with dementia
A disgraced care worker has admitted draining almost £17,000 from the bank account of a 94-year-old with dementia.
Daniel Burton stole a debit card belonging to an elderly resident of a Suffolk care home and used it fraudulently for a period of more than three months before his deception was detected.
The 24-year-old, from Ipswich, admitted two counts of fraud and one count of theft at Suffolk Magistrates' Court on Tuesday.
Prosecutor Ian Devine said Burton had been working as a carer at Deben View, Woodbridge, when he stole the Barclays debit card last October.
As well as using it to buy goods and fuel worth £1,759.97, Burton withdrew a total of £14,940 from local cash machines - until the end of January, when the victim's daughter spotted unusual activity on a bank statement.
Mr Devine called it a "significant breach of trust".
Paul Kingston, director of housing and care services at Orwell Housing, said Burton was immediately suspended and has since been dismissed altogether.
He said all processes and checks were followed before Burton was employed as a carer.
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"For all intents and purposes, he was a well respected and popular carer," added Mr Kingston.
"Everyone was surprised by what happened. We were shocked. It caused a lot of distress at the time.
"We worked closely with the police and the county council, and with the tenant's family to ensure she received the necessary support.
"As soon as her daughter alerted us, the matter was passed to the police and he was immediately suspended."
Burton, who admitted the offences during a police interview, had no previous criminal convictions before starting work at Deben View.
John Hughes, mitigating, made no objection to the prosecution's recommendation for magistrates to send the case for sentencing by a crown court judge.
The bench said Burton's offences were likely to attract a greater sentence than their powers would allow.
They ordered a pre-sentence report from the probation service before sending the case to Ipswich Crown Court.
Burton, of Baronsdale Close, Ipswich, was released on unconditional bail until his next hearing on a date to be fixed.