Care home manager used elderly resident's bank card to pay for her Amazon shopping

Taliesin Residential Home in Tonypandy
Taliesin Residential Home in Tonypandy -Credit:Google

The deputy manager of a care home stole money from an elderly and vulnerable woman's bank account to pay for a rug and buy items from Amazon. After the woman's death her family were notified that her account was in arrears as a result of the fraud.

Yasmin Barrett, 33, was working at the Taliesin Residential Home in Tonypandy when stole around £400 from Jean Jackson, who had become a resident of the home after she suffered a stroke. The fraud took place between 2020 and 2021 with the defendant having access to Mrs Jackson' account through her job role as she managed her finances.

A sentencing hearing at Merthyr Tydfil Crown Court heard Mrs Jackson died and following her death her daughter was contacted by Rhondda Cynon Taf council who informed her that her mother's account was in arrears. She thought this was unusual as her mother's account should have had enough funds to pay her bills.

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It was discovered that the account was in arrears with a number of irregular payments having been made. An investigation was launched and the payments were found to have been made to an account belonging to Barrett.

The defendant abused her job role to make a number of transactions using Mrs Jackson's bank card. These included a payment of £79 to Lord of Rugs, £20 to the DVLA for a replacement driving licence for her partner, and several payments totalling £298 made to Amazon. The total sum taken came to around £400.

Barrett, of Glynfach Road, Porth, was arrested in September 2021 and initially denied the allegations with Judge Jeremy Jenkins telling the court she had blamed three other people for the theft. She later pleaded guilty to three counts of fraud by abuse of position. The court heard the defendant has one reprimand for a common assault committed when she was a youth.

In a victim personal statement Mrs Jackson's son Leighton Downing said: "This case has had a significant impact on my family and has left me angry, frustrated, and struggling to sleep. It has caused a significant amount of stress and has impacted my health. As a diabetic I have struggled to control my sugar levels.

"I am disgusted someone could help themselves to money of my mother's – a disabled, vulnerable, and elderly lady – especially when the person should have been looking after my mother, taking care of her and her finances. I feel let down by the care home for not protecting her from being financially abused."

In mitigation, defence barrister Lowri Wynn Morgan said her client remained in employment in a position of senior manager and has not reoffended in the last two and a half years since the offence. She said the mother-of-three feels "terrible and guilty" and wishes to repay Mrs Jackson's family.

Sentencing, Judge Jeremy Jenkins said: "You should be thoroughly ashamed of yourself. Fraud in these circumstances is the most serious – not because of the amount but the impact it either has on the victim or the family of the victim." He told the defendant she would have gone to prison were it not for her three children.

Barrett was sentenced to 18 weeks imprisonment suspended for 18 months. She was ordered to carry out 180 hours unpaid work and to pay costs of £1,630.

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