Bury St Edmunds: NHS worker stole funds from Stow Lodge

AN NHS worker creamed off thousands of pounds raised from coffee mornings and fundraisers to support her family, a court was told.

Carolyn Green, of Wigston Road, Bury St Edmunds, pleaded guilty to stealing �4,980 from Stow Lodge in Stowmarket where she was employed as an administrator.

West Suffolk Magistrates’ Court in Bury was told how the 65-year-old had come under suspicion after the NHS centre received an overpayment of �1,000 from Green’s personal account after her retirement in March 2011.

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.

Lesla Small, prosecuting told the court that Green, along with another member of staff was responsible for depositing cash raised by coffee mornings and other social occasions at the bank.

Ms Small said that when the former administrator was confronted and interviewed by the NHS investigator she claimed she had taken the money after her husband had suffered a heart attack and had lost his job.

The court was told she said she “felt ashamed” but “did not know what to do” after she became the family’s sole breadwinner.

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The court was told that Green 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.”

Presiding magistrate, Robin Howe, said the theft had been a breach of trust.

He told the court that although he was prepared to accept jurisdiction for sentencing, the case would have to be sent to Ipswich Crown Court under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Green, who spoke only to confirm her name, wept as she left the court on unconditional bail.