A care worker has been ordered to pay £6,000 after pleading guilty to stealing from a vulnerable care home resident.
Benjamin Ralph was sentenced at Leeds Crown Court after admitting a charge of theft while employed at Anchor Hanover’s Larchfield care home in Hunslet, the Yorkshire Evening Post reported.
The court heard that Mr Ralph “bled dry” the bank account of a 63-year-old resident by using his bank card to withdraw £5,000 in cash that he shared with other members of staff at the home. Four other members of staff were also dismissed by Anchor Hanover following an internal investigation.
The defendant, who was arrested on 9 November 2017, also spent £1,869 at a Morrison’s store on items for himself and his colleagues.
The judge told Ralph: “The offence to which you pleaded guilty is one of the meanest and wickedest to come before the Crown Court.
“It defies human understanding how someone can be so cruel to do that to another human being.
“The only thing, I will tell you now that saves you from immediate custody today is the unconscionable length of time it has taken to come to court.
“I cannot begin to understand how it has taken almost three years.
“It is only the delay which has saved you from going immediately to prison.”
Mr Ralph was ordered to do 120 hours of unpaid work and take part in a ten-day rehabilitation activity requirement.
Mishel Ingle, District Manager for Larchfield care home, said: “We take the wellbeing of our residents very seriously and were appalled when we were notified of this incident.
“As soon as we were informed, we acted immediately, launching our own investigation and worked closely with the police and other agencies.
“We apologise to the resident and their family for any distress caused.
“This was an isolated incident which undermines the hard work and dedication of our colleagues who provide our usual high standards of care.
“This individual no longer works for us and was immediately dismissed.
“Although there was not enough evidence for police to pursue claims against four others who were implicated, through our own investigation we identified they had failed to follow our stringent policies and procedures, leading to their suspension and subsequent dismissal.
“Additional steps were also taken and a referral was made to the disclosure and barring service to prevent those dismissed from seeking to gain future employment within the care sector.”