Lazy killer nurse stole £17k from York shop that gave her job after jail

Shared Earth is an ethical gift shop in York which gives jobs to ex-cons to aid rehabilitation
-Credit: (Image: Google maps)

A nurse who murdered an elderly woman at a care home has been jailed again for stealing £17,000 from a firm that employed her to help her rehabilitation.

Alison Ramsay - previously Firth - was jailed for life in 2001 for giving Alice Grant, 84, a huge overdose of a powerful sedative because she was 'too lazy to look after her'.

She was released on parole in November 2017 and given a managerial role at Shared Earth, an ethical gift shop in York which gives jobs to ex-cons to aid rehabilitation.

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Alison Ramsay
Alison Ramsay -Credit:North Yorkshire Police© SWNS

Ramsay, 59, who also has a past caution for obtaining property by deception, was trusted with the general running of the shop and closing the tills each day.

She had 10-to-12 people working under her, York Crown Court heard.

By October 2022, the shop’s retail director noticed some financial “irregularities”, revealing a “reducing amount of money placed into bank bags and bank books”.

Bosses checked missing till receipts and found Ramsay had been altering spreadsheets and other documents, stealing between £30 and £100 at a time.

The retail director relayed her concerns to the managing director and challenged Ramsay, who owned up straight away.

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The investigation revealed that £26,672 appeared to have gone missing over the four-year period.

Ramsay admitted stealing £17,000 and the prosecution accepted that basis of plea as there may have been some “system errors” in calculating the larger figure.

She was jailed for 20 months after pleading guilty to theft by employee.

Aimilia Katsoulakis, prosecuting, said Ramsay was on prison licence during the “prolonged” thieving spree, having been released from jail in 2017.

She was recalled to prison in 2022 after being arrested for the thefts.

Defence barrister Joel Wootton said Ramsay was “incredibly remorseful” for betraying the trust of her former employer which gave her a chance to “start afresh”.

He told the court: “She fully accepts that she has thrown that back in their face by stealing from them over a prolonged period…and she has no doubt exploited them for her own personal gain."

Ramsay was not eligible to a parole hearing for the life sentence until December or January next year.

Mr Wootton said that Ramsay had a supportive partner who was standing by her.

Judge Simon Hickey told Ramsay she stole from an ethical company which had given her a “trusted” position and an “invaluable opportunity” to get back on her feet.

He said: “(You were) trusted because of the very nature of the Shared Earth ethos…and there must be very deserving ex-prisoners or prisoners on licence that could have had your job."

Jeremy Piercy, Shared Earth’s managing director, said he forgave Ramsay and insisted that his ethical company would continue to hire ex-prisoners.

He said: “Obviously her behaviour was not what we want of a manager. She deceived us and we lost money as a result. She is her own worst enemy; she has ruined her own life by what she’s done, so she has done far more harm to herself than to Shared Earth.

"While obviously we don’t want something like that happen again, it doesn’t change our policy to help prisoners to get back into the community.

“In our view, it’s a very positive way of preventing crime in the future because so many prisoners reoffend when they come out because they don’t have jobs and they are getting no support.

"So in our view employing prisoners is very valuable, not just for the individuals but for the community as a whole.”

Ramsay was jailed at Newcastle Crown Court in 2000 for drugging Mrs Grant to death and branded "evil and a disgrace to her profession" by detectives at the time.

Her trial heard she'd been unable to stick at a job and had 27 nursing posts in 16 years.

She was described as inherently lazy by a colleague during the trial and Mr Justice Bell told her she "could not be bothered" to keep her victim alive.

She gave a sedative overdose to Mrs Grant, who was in her care at Aidan House residential home in Gateshead after suffering two strokes.

She then rang the dying woman's son, Tommy Grant, to tell him to come to the home, and told him: "Your mother's not 'alf bad."