Suspended prison sentence for care worker who stole £10 from resident at Paddy Geere Care Home

South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court

South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court - Credit: Archant

A 20-year-old woman was given a six week prison sentence suspended for 12 months for stealing £10 from a resident of a care home where she worked.

April McKenna, of Macaulay Road, Ipswich, will also have to pay a total of £685 through court charges and costs for stealing the money at Paddy Geere Care Home.

She appeared before South East Suffolk Magistrates’ Court on Friday where she pleaded not guilty to taking the money from resident Molly Noble on June 18. Miss McKenna worked in the home’s care team.

After finding her guilty, chairman of the bench, Mr Skinner, said: “Your offence clearly crosses the custodial threshold, this is because this was theft in a breach of trust. It was an offence on a person in a home, a vulnerable victim who was a resident of the care home.”

Earlier Carla Johns from the Probation Service told the court Miss McKenna had previously been on medication for mental health issues.

She added: “She is quite clearly terrified of physically going to prison. She could also lose her accommodation which she rents with her partner. He would not be able to meet the rent on his own which would have the impact of losing the accommodation.

“She has worked very hard to find accommodation and in the first instance she would lose employment which she has struggled to find.

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“She has suffered mental health issues in the past, she is not medicated now but has seen a GP. She was medicated about two years ago.”

The probation officer added her brother and sister, who she is close to, would “struggle without her” and that she found part-time work with Sainsbury’s on October 1.

The court heard that she does not have any financial issues in terms of debt and had relied on her mother for money in the past.

Miss McKenna was given a six week custodial sentence, suspended for 12 months, as well as 50 hours unpaid work.

She will have to pay a victim surcharge of £80, a criminal court charge of £520 and court costs of £85.

Miss McKenna, who represented herself, made no comment after the sentence was made.

She can formally appeal the decision within 21 days of the court’s decision.

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