'Sneak thief' labelled 'despicable' for stealing from epileptic woman's room

GV - Ipswich Crown Court

GV - Ipswich Crown Court

A judge has described the theft of £900 from a severely epileptic woman by a supervisor at her supported living accommodation in Suffolk as “despicable.”

Kelly Pile “sneaked” into the woman’s bedroom while she was on holiday on the Isle of Wight and at a Befriending Drop in Centre and after removing her bankcard from a tin in her wardrobe used it on five occasions to withdraw money at a cashpoint, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

Pile, 42, of Ethelreda Drive, Thetford, admitted theft of £900 in August and September last year and was given a nine-month jail sentence suspended for two years and ordered to do 200 hours' unpaid work.

She was also given a 26-week curfew between 7pm-6am and ordered to pay £900 compensation, £200 costs and a £115 victim surcharge.

Sentencing Pile Judge David Goodin said the theft was “despicable” and described Pile as a “sneak thief”.

He said she had sneaked into the victim’s room while she was out and  removed her bank card which was kept in a tin in a safe in her wardrobe.

After using the card to withdraw sums of £100 and £200 on five occasions she had sneaked back into the room and replaced the card.

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The court heard that the 50-year-old victim had suffered from epilepsy since the age of 12 and lived with her mother and step-father before moving into supported living accommodation in Vange Place, Haverhill in 2010.

The theft was discovered by a support worker who noticed an unusually large amount of money had gone out of the woman’s account and alerted a manager at the accommodation.

Pile, who had been a support worker before becoming a service supervisor, admitted being responsible for the withdrawals and said she didn’t want anyone else to be blamed for taking the money.

When she was spoken to by police she didn’t know why she had taken the money as she didn’t have any debts and didn’t have an alcohol or drug problem.

However, she did say that she had started  playing an online Cinco jackpot game after a relative won £25,000.

Adam Norris for Pile said she had no previous convictions and had expressed remorse.

He said the theft was unsophisticated and bound to be discovered.

Mr Norris said Pile, who was a grandmother and a carer for her mother, had thrown away her job and good character by committing the offence.

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