Halesworth: Care home manager used patients’ bank cards to withdraw cash, shop on the high street and make online purchases

New in-patient submissions have been suspended for three months at Southwold Hospital due to nurse s

New in-patient submissions have been suspended for three months at Southwold Hospital due to nurse shortages - Credit: IAN BURT

A Suffolk care home manager has been spared jail after fleecing three vulnerable patients out of a total of more than £12,000.

Jodie Finney, of Carnoustie Drive Lowestoft, was given a 12-month prison sentence, suspended for 18 months, when she appeared before Ipswich Crown Court.

The 31-year-old had previously pleaded guilty to six offences of fraud by abuse of position.

In addition to her suspended sentence Finney was given an 18-month supervision order with a 300-hour unpaid work requirement.

All three of Finney’s victims were being cared for at Woody Point, a residential care home in Brampton, near Halesworth.

The frauds took place between October 23, 2012, and November 21 last year.

At the time Finney was acting manager at the care home, a large five-bedroomed bungalow which caters for adults with learning difficulties and complex needs.

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Part of Finney’s responsibilities were to look after the patients’ finances.

Each had their own account and debit cards.

All their benefit entitlements were paid into their accounts.

A standing order was set up to pay for their care needs, leaving any excess money able to be spent on clothing and whatever else they wished.

Finney knew the pin number for the cash cards.

An investigation began in 2013, about a year after Finney began working at the care home, when it became evident the accounts were overdrawn. The year before they were said to have had large balances in them.

Police found there had been numerous cash withdrawls from ATM machines, and numerous purchases had been made at High Street stores. Some were also made online.

Finney was arrested and charged with fraud.

She made her first appearance before North East Suffolk Magistrates Court in Lowestoft in May.

Due to the serious nature of the charges the case was committed to Ipswich Crown Court.