Sunderland care warden jailed for £40,000 theft from old folk

Margaret Tumilty admitted theft and fraud.
Margaret Tumilty admitted theft and fraud.
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A SHELTERED accommodation warden faces jail for conning up to £40,000 out of elderly residents.

Trusted Margaret Tumilty made unauthorised withdrawals from the bank accounts of residents at The Sanderlings housing complex in Ryhope, between June 2006 and October last year.

At Newcastle Crown Court yesterday the 61-year-old, of The Grove, Ashbrooke, pleaded guilty to one charge of theft, and three charges of fraud.

The offences relate to about £40,000, which was taken from three victims.

After the guilty pleas were entered, Judge John Milford withdrew Tumilty’s bail and said she must be remanded in custody until she is sentenced.

The judge told her: “A custodial sentence is inevitable in this case.

“I can see no virtue in granting you bail. You will be remanded in custody.

“That will effectively be the start of your sentence.”

Jane Waugh, mitigating, told the court Tumilty accepts taking between £30,000 and £40,000 from her victims.

But the disgraced warden insists some of the money she took was spent on the residents.

Miss Waugh added: “She is a woman of hitherto good character.

“It is right the indictment alleges loss to the value of around £40,000, but it is right the crown accept there is some leeway.

“The defendant says some of the money she withdrew on behalf of the residents of the home where she worked was for their own use.

“She has problems of her own and there is a background to this.

“It is a sum somewhere between £30,000 and £40,000.

“She finds it important to say some of it was used for their own use.”

Miss Waugh applied for Tumilty’s bail to be extended while a pre-sentence report is prepared by the probation service, so she can “come to terms” with what she has done.

But the judge declined the application and said Tumilty will be sentenced next month.