Hackney NHS worker went on £2,020 shopping spree using cancer patients' credit cards

A mugshot of Mira Solmaz
-Credit: (Image: City of London Police)

A former East London NHS hospital assistant has been jailed after she spent £1,660 using cancer patients' credit cards. Mira Solmaz, 33, of Mare Street, Hackney, was described as 'pure evil' by one of her victims and was jailed for 15 months.

On December 31, 2020, Todd Mallonee, a cancer inpatient at St Bartholomew’s Hospital, noticed his credit card and other items missing. On January 5, 2021, his wife contacted the police. Some £360 worth of transactions on these cards were linked to Solmaz. Mr Mallonee passed away on April 28, 2021, aged 48, before he could see justice.

Then in early April 2021, 65-year-old Hazel Longhurst, a cancer inpatient at St Batholomew’s Hospital, became aware of activity on her cards, despite being in hospital at the time. The patient’s daughter made a police report on April 7, 2021. Around £1,660 worth of fraudulent purchases were made on these cards.

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Solmaz had direct access to the victims' wards. A police investigation found that the cards were linked to Solmaz though email addresses, telephone numbers and home addresses. Investigators also obtained Solmaz’s screenshots of her transactions and photos of credit cards on her phone belonging to a nurse at Royal London Hospital.

She pleaded guilty to five counts of fraud and three counts of possession of articles for use in fraud. Solmaz was sentenced to 15 months in prison at Southwark Crown Court.

'She targeted me while I was fighting for my life'

Hazel said: “She targeted me while I was fighting for my life. For a person who is supposed to be in a position of care and trust to do this is just pure evil. I’ve worked for the NHS as a nurse my whole life, I’m just in disbelief that someone can do what she did and the actions of this one person has made me uneasy and more wary of people now.

“I really want to thank the City of London Police, especially Stacie Cottrell, for all the hard work she’s put into this investigation.”

Detective Constable Stacie Cottrell, City of London Police, said: “Mira Solmaz violated the trust and confidence of two vulnerable patients placed in her care, where the families of the victims expected their loved ones to be looked after. I would like to extend my condolences to Todd’s family and friends. I’m saddened that he wasn’t able to see Solmaz brought to justice.

“I’m very grateful to the families of these victims in reporting this to the police and supporting this investigation.”

A Barts Health NHS Trust spokesperson said: “As soon as we became aware of the allegations against Ms Solmaz, she was suspended and an internal investigation launched. This was completed in December 2022, following the police investigation, and Ms Solmaz was subsequently dismissed.”

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