Sudbury: Wife catches thief with secret camera

A CONCERNED wife hid a secret camera in her house to trap a heroin user who stole more than �1,000 from her husband who had dementia, a court heard.

Linda Jackson installed the camera at her home in Gainsborough Road, Sudbury, after she noticed money was being taken from her husband’s bank account.

Fiona Welsh, 30, a former heroin user, had started to steal cash from Mrs Jackson’s husband, Tony, after the pair met in a pub, Bury St Edmunds magistrates heard on Tuesday.

Welsh, of First Avenue, Sudbury, used Mr Jackson’s bank card to withdraw three lots of �300, most of which she kept for herself.

Welsh also admitted stealing separate amounts of �10 or �20 each between February and November last year and was eventually captured on camera stealing cash from Mr Jackson.

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Welsh admitted two counts of theft on February 12 and July 13 last year as well as one count of fraud by representation on July 14 2010 when she used Mr Jackson’s bank card to withdraw cash at Lloyds TSB in Sudbury, at Bury Magistrates’ Court this week.

Godfried Duah, prosecuting, told the court Mr Jackson, a reputable artist, had developed dementia and was left at home alone while his wife went to work in London.

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Mr Jackson then started to drink and it was while drinking he met Welsh, who started to visit him at home when he was on his own, Mr Duah said.

Welsh, a former heroin addict, agreed to carry out some gardening work for Mr Jackson for cash.

But Mrs Jackson became very concerned when she returned home a number of times to find Welsh at home with her husband on his own, Mr Duah said.

She also realised money was being taken from her husband’s account.

“The woman then discreetly placed a camera in the house to try to watch because, at that point, she had told the defendant not to come to the house again,” Mr Duah said.

Welsh was then caught stealing the cash on camera.

Declan Gallagher, in mitigation, said Welsh had started taking heroin when she was 14 and was diagnosed with schizophrenia when she was 17.

Mr Gallagher added that, although she had not been using heroin since the start of this year, Welsh had fallen back into using heroin when she met Mr Jackson and stole from him to support her habit.

Jan Turner-Smith, presiding magistrate, told Welsh: “We were concerned that, if it had not been found out, it could have gone on for a longer period of time.”

Welsh was released on conditional bail after proceedings were adjourned until May 24 for reports to be prepared.

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