AN NHS worker who stole thousands of pounds raised from coffee mornings and fundraisers to support her family has been made subject to a proceeds of crime order.

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Carolyn Green, of Wigston Road, Bury St Edmunds, admitted stealing £4,980 from Stow Lodge health centre in Stowmarket, when she appeared before magistrates in Bury St Edmunds last October.

Suffolk Constabulary’s financial investigators are now pursuing her for repayment of the money she stole.

The 65-year-old appeared before Ipswich Crown Court where an order was made under the Proceeds of Crime Act for a nominal amount of £1, as Green has no money of her own.

However, the order enables investigators to re-visit Green’s case if she should come into assets in the future.

Therefore, the case could be re-opened and an application could be made to retrieve the remaining £4,979.

Green was an administrator at Stow Lodge. She came under suspicion after the NHS centre received an overpayment of £1,000 from her personal account after her retirement in March 2011.

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

Green, along with another member of staff, had been responsible for depositing cash raised by coffee mornings and other social occasions at the bank.

When Green was confronted by an NHS investigator she claimed she had taken the money after her husband had suffered a heart attack and had lost his job.

During her plea hearing magistrates heard Green “felt ashamed” but “did not know what to do” after she became the family’s sole breadwinner.

At the time she had debts of around £2,000.

David Stewart, mitigating, said shortly after Green’s husband had fallen ill her son-in-law had been diagnosed with a brain tumour.

Mr Stewart, who said his client had been “remorseful” as soon as she was arrested had taken the money to pay for “day-to-day living expenses.”

Green’s sentencing was committed to Ipswich Crown Court where she was given a 12-month supervision order and told she must carry out 120 hours of unpaid work.

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