A TRUSTED care home manager stole cash from a dead resident because she was “out of her depth”.
Linda Parkin, 55, from Sunderland, told the sister of a deceased man that she would help sort out his affairs and close his post office account when he died in September last year.
But Newcastle Crown Court heard she withdrew thousands of pounds from the victim’s account to cover up her own financial mismanagement at Bowland Lodge care home on Western Avenue, Grainger Park, Newcastle.
The court heard she made more than £13,000 in withdrawals, but prosecutors accept she used more than £10,000 of the cash to pay off the deceased resident’s care fees.
Christopher Rose, prosecuting, said she used the rest of the money to pay off other residents’ debts which she had allowed to build up and to buy shopping for the home.
The sister of the resident told investigators: “I am distressed about this and cannot believe someone would steal from someone who has died.”
The court heard Parkin also conned more than £2,000 from an vulnerable ex-smoker at the home by continuing to take money from him for cigarettes which he no longer needed or got.
Prosecutors accept Parkin did not keep any of the cash for herself.
Parkin, of Hurstwood Road, Sunderland, was arrested at home on Christmas Eve last year and went on to admit theft and fraud charges.
Judge John Evans sentenced her to a community order for two years with supervision and 160 hours of unpaid work.
The judge told her: “This is an unusual case.
“It is not suggested that you personally benefited. Had that been the case, the position would be very different. It may be that you found yourself out of your depth.”
Rachel Hedworth, defending, said Parkin had put considerable amounts of her own money into the business in a bid to keep it running smoothly.
Miss Hedworth said: “She was expected to carry out the role of numerous other employees as well as manager.
“She was entirely over-stretched and wished she had resigned years ago but was very fond of the residents at the home.”
Miss Hedworth said the married mum-of-three was deeply ashamed of what she has done, has found new work and will never be back before the courts again.