Care manager stole £6k from resident

THE manager of a Suffolk residential home who stole £6,000 from a vulnerable man has been ordered to repay the money or face the prospect of a prison sentence.

Jane Hunt

THE manager of a Suffolk residential home who stole £6,000 from a vulnerable man has been ordered to repay the money or face the prospect of a prison sentence.

Joanne Woodhead, who was employed at the Barleycombe Home in Long Melford, was told by a judge to pay her victim John Randall a £2,000 lump sum immediately and the balance at the rate of £250 a month.

Judge Neil McKittrick deferred sentence on Woodhead until January 12 next year and told her that if she repaid the £2,000 and had made six monthly payments of £250 he would pass a suspended prison sentence on her combined with a community order.


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However if she failed to comply with the repayment schedule over the next six months all sentencing options would remain open, including immediate custody, when she returned for sentence.

Judge McKittrick said although he had a public duty to punish Woodhead it was also important that Mr Randall, who he described as a “vulnerable victim”, should have the opportunity of being compensated for the money stolen from him.

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Woodhead, 38, of Shop Street, Woodbridge, admitted four offences of theft.

Peter Gair, prosecuting at Ipswich Crown Court yesterday, said that at the time of the thefts Woodhead was heavily in debt.

He said that after she was suspended from her job in September last year a full audit was carried out during which it was noted that Mr Randall's personal allowance record had been removed.

This was subsequently found in Woodhead's handbag after her arrest, the court was told.

During police interviews Woodhead had denied dishonestly making withdrawals from Mr Randall's bank account.

Andrew Shaw, for Woodhead, said she had no previous convictions and had now found new employment as a restaurant manager.

He said she had allowed herself to fall into considerable debt and had outstanding loans of £44,000. “She will in due course make application for personal bankruptcy,” he said.

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