AN NHS worker who stole thousands of pounds to support her family after her husband lost his job has been ordered to do unpaid work in the community.

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Sixty-five-year-old Carolyn Green, of Wigston Road, Bury St Edmunds admitted stealing £4,980 from Stow Lodge in Stowmarket where she was employed as an administrator.

Sentencing Green, who worked for the NHS for 36 years, Judge David Goodin said that but for the theft she had led a “blameless and industrious” life.

He said Green had been “stressed and anxious” after her husband was made redundant following heart bypass surgery and her son-in-law was diagnosed with a brain tumour.

Judge Goodin said Green had expressed genuine remorse following her arrest and had been open about what she had done to police officers.

Green was sentenced to 12 months supervision and ordered to do 120 hours unpaid work in the community. She was also ordered to attend a Women’s Emotional Welfare group. A Proceeds of Crime Act hearing will take place next year.

Christopher Paxton, prosecuting at Ipswich Crown Court, said Green had worked at Stow Lodge, in Stowmarket which mainly dealt with elderly patients, and her duties as an administrator included banking cash.

Suspicions were aroused after the NHS centre received an overpayment of £1,000 from Green’s personal account as she tried to pay back some of the money she had taken.

A fraud investigation was launched and found that there was a discrepancy between banking slips and what had actually been placed in the NHS centre’s account.

The court heard that Green took money over a six month period between June 2010 and January last year.

When Green was confronted she claimed she had taken the money after getting into debt after her husband suffered a heart attack and lost his job.

She said she was ashamed of what she had done and had taken the money as a short term measure to help her family’s financial situation.

Guy Ayers for Green said his client was genuinely sorry for what she had done and wanted to repay the money she had taken.

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