Care home worker may be jailed after using resident's bank card

Ipswich Crown Court

Clare Scarfe has been found guilty of fraud - Credit: Archant

An Ipswich care home worker who used an 80-year-old resident’s bank card details to pay a £350 repair bill for her BMW has been warned she could be jailed when she is sentenced next month.

Before Ipswich Crown Court was Clare Scarfe, 47, of Eccles Road, Ipswich who denied two offences of fraud.

She was found guilty by a jury on Friday by an 11-1 majority verdict of fraudulently using the victim’s bankcard details to pay a £350 repair bill for her BMW.

The jury couldn’t reach a verdict on the second charge, which related to a £45 order from Domino’s Pizza, and was discharged from returning a verdict on that charge.

Prosecution counsel Matthew Sorel-Cameron said he wouldn’t be seeking a retrial and a not guilty verdict was recorded.

Recorder Darren Reed adjourned sentence until December 9 and told Scarfe that all sentencing options would be open to the court, including prison.

“You must prepare yourself for that eventuality,” he said.

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During Scarfe’s trial the court  heard that she was employed as a team leader at Peppercorn House in Peppercorn Way, Ipswich, and committed the alleged offences after helping the elderly resident to key in his bank card number when he was doing online banking.

The resident, who has since died, had been mentally fit but had physical issues which made it difficult for him to him to use a computer.

He asked Scarfe for help when he wanted to check his bank balance and she had assisted by keying in his bank card number.

In January 2018 he had asked her to help him make a transaction on the internet using his bankcard and she had allegedly kept a copy of the card number and used it to pay for a £45 order from Domino’s Pizza.

The resident had spotted the transaction the following day and his card was cancelled.

A new card was sent to him and Scarfe had used the details to pay a £350 bill for her BMW.

Once again the transaction was spotted by the resident and his card was cancelled.

Giving evidence Scarfe claimed she had mistaken the care home resident’s card numbers, which she’d written on a post-it note, for her own. 

She said she took morphine for pain following  a car crash and this had affected her memory leading her to writing down her bank card number on post-it notes.

She told the court emergencies on both occasions meant she could not put the post-it with the resident's card numbers into the care home's "confidential" bin. 

She said she had read out the number on the post-it note in her bag on both occasions and did not realise it was the alleged victim’s card number.

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