Longbridge Deverill Care Home Worker Fraud

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By wp_alistair | Friday, April 27, 2012, 08:14

A care home worker copied down the bank card details of an elderly woman suffering from dementia and then went on an internet spending spree for Christmas presents.

Gemma Ballard bought goods using the card details seven times after she cared for the woman in her eighties as part of her job at Longbridge Deverill House, near Warminster in Wiltshire.

But when the financial transactions showed up in the woman's bank statements, it was spotted by other staff and the 21-year-old from Warminster was sacked on the spot and the police were called.

She pleaded guilty to seven counts of fraud against a resident she was responsible for and was given a 12-month community order by magistrates at Chippenham and was ordered to pay £372.60 in compensation.

DS Martin McDonagh from Wiltshire police said: "The victim in this case was elderly and suffered from dementia, and as such depended entirely upon those individuals entrusted to provide her with care.

"Miss Ballard abused this trust, with the repercussions of these actions not only being felt by the victim, but also by her family who have an implicit expectation that their loved ones are afforded appropriate standards of care and dignity at all times.

"Indeed in this investigation a Victim Impact Statement was obtained from the victim's family to reinforce the impact this crime has had upon them."

DS McDonagh praised the care home for acting promptly to call the police.



  • Profile image for wp_alistair

    Hopefully this is an isolated case, but it underlines how vulnerable the elderly are in a retirement home environment and how they, and their families, rely absolutely on the trust of the staff around them. This story won't do the reputation of this care home any good unfortunately - does it smack of poor judgment in the recruitment process?

    By wp_alistair at 20:51 on 29/04/12

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