April 7, 2017

A care home manager who abused her position, by getting a resident to withdraw cash which she used to fund her gambling habit, has been given a suspended sentence.

Sharon Smith was the manager of a care home in Saltash, Cornwall, when local Lloyds Bank staff became concerned because she was taking residents of the home into the branch to withdraw cash.

An investigation by officers from the Dedicated Card and Payment Crime Unit found Smith was using her position at the care home to take advantage of a resident by getting him to withdraw money from his account for her own benefit.

Smith told the resident he needed to make the withdrawals to top up the amount he paid the care home by standing order. Between November 2014 and October 2015 £9,007 was withdrawn from the resident’s bank account.

After she was charged, Smith breached her bail conditions by returning to the care home and depositing three envelopes of money with the resident’s name on into the safe, in an attempt to suggest the money had always been in the safe.

Smith was found guilty following a trial at Truro Crown Court.

DC Fiona Roope, who investigated the case for the DCPCU, said:

“Sharon Smith exploited the trust of her employers and, most importantly, a vulnerable resident of the care home where she worked who now faces financial hardship. The police will take swift action to protect vulnerable victims and the staff at Lloyds Bank should be commended for spotting and reporting her behaviour.

“I would remind anyone thinking of committing a similar crime that there are very real consequences in doing so and police and banks will do all they can to ensure you are brought to justice.”


Notes to editors:

Charges and sentence: Sharon Smith, DOB 04/03/1965, of Dellohay Park, Saltash, Cornwall, fraud by false representation  and abuse of position of trust: Two-year prison sentence, suspended for two years, plus 200 hours community service and assistance with her gambling addiction.