Ipswich care worker avoids jail after spending £3k of man’s savings

Ipswich Crown Court

Ipswich Crown Court

An Ipswich care assistant who stole £2,900 from a disabled man’s savings account has walked free from court after a judge decided not to send her straight to prison.

Lisa Turner, who was employed as a part-time assistant at accommodation run by the Sue Ryder Foundation in Bixley Road, Ipswich, took the man’s card from the safe and over a period of nine months she regularly stole money from his account at a local post office, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

The theft was discovered when other staff members noticed that money had been withdrawn from the man’s account and when CCTV footage from the post office was examined 43-year-old Turner was identified as the person responsible, said Claire Watson, prosecuting.

She said the victim, who was confined to a wheelchair, managed his own finances but would occasionally give his cash card and PIN number to someone else to withdraw money for him.

After her arrest Turner admitted regularly taking the victim’s card from the safe at the accommodation and withdrawing £300 at a time.

Turner, of Salisbury Road, Ipswich, admitted theft between March and December last year and was given a 10-month jail sentence, suspended for two years.

She was also given a period of supervision by the probation service, ordered to attend a Women’s Emotional Well-being activity course and to pay a victim surcharge and costs totalling £185.

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Neil Saunders, for Turner, said his client was ashamed of what she had done and had £2,900 available to repay the victim of the theft. “She offers her sincere apologies for what she has done but realises an apology won’t be enough to make the situation better,” said Mr Saunders.

Sue Ryder spokeswoman Jo Marshall said Turner had been suspended “immediately” once the allegations had come to light.

She added: “We have rigorous processes in place to ensure our service users are always safeguarded and it was through these processes we identified a financial concern. We dealt with this concern in line with all current relevant legislation and our own policies and procedures.”

She said the verdict meant a “line could be drawn” under what had been a “difficult situation”.

“As always, we remain committed to upholding the highest possible standards of care and safeguarding at Sue Ryder.”