Anne Dobson from Witham jailed for £116k fraud from care home she worked at

Anne Dobson, 39, of Cressing Road, Witham

Anne Dobson, 39, of Cressing Road, Witham - Credit: Archant

A care home administrator who siphoned off fees paid by residents to fund her wedding has been jailed.

Anne Dobson, 39, stole £116,000 by telling her company’s head office they would be getting a lesser fee than that agreed by the manager at Broomfield Grange care home, Chelmsford,

Dobson, of Cressing Road, Witham, then gave her bank account details to the resident’s families and took their full payment – of about £1,200 – but only handed over £800 to her employers Embrace All Care Homes.

Chelmsford Crown Court heard yesterday how Dobson began the con to pay off debts, but then continued the fraud to fund a wedding and honeymoon, £16,000 new car and a further £1,000 holiday.

Dobson had admitted a single count of fraud against the care home company between July 1 2012 and July 31 2014 at an earlier hearing.

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Yesterday she was sentenced to two years and four months in prison.

Andrew Jackson QC, prosecuting, said: “In 2013 she was marrying again and needed to pay for her wedding and she could not afford the sort of wedding she wanted so continued to defraud the company.

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“She paid for her own wedding which she told police had cost about £20,000 and on top of that a honeymoon to the tune of £4,000, all of which were funded by the ongoing fraud.

“By 2013 she was on top of her debts and she freely admitted that it was to pay for the wedding.

“It was a gross breach of the trust that the company placed in her.

“She played a leading role – she was the author of this fraud – there was an abuse of her position of trust and responsibility.”

Dobson received a total of £201,425 from just three elderly residents, of which she pair the care home just £85,214.

When interviewed by police Dobson admitted her actions, telling officers she felt bad for what she had done.

At one stage the mum wrote a £7,000 cheque to one resident in a bid to relieve her of her burden of guilt.

The crime came to light when a family member queried the amounts being paid.

Penny Summers, mitigating, said Dobson was “absolutely and thoroughly ashamed of herself” and had yet to tell her children of her actions.

She said: “In the beginning, she was in financial difficulties – however she explained to me that there was no excuse for it ongoing.”

Recorder Mark Ockelton, sentencing, said: “You were not in debt at the time. It was committed in order to give you a lifestyle of the sort you thought you ought to have.

“Tens of thousands of pounds are unaccounted for.”

A proceeds of crime hearing will take place later this year to try to recoup some of the missing money.

No-one else was involved in her crimes.

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