6th Dec, 2016

Woman stole cash from care home residents

Stratford Editorial 17th Jan, 2016 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016

A THIEF who stole several thousand pounds from elderly residents at a south Warwickshire care home has been banned from seeking employment with vulnerable adults as a condition of bail.

Melanie Oliver pleaded guilty at Warwick Crown Court to five charges of theft from residents at the River Meadows Care Home in Kineton between November 2011 and January last year.

The 48 year-old of Kingsley Road, Bishops Tachbrook, also pleaded guilty to stealing money from her employers at the care home, Prime Life Ltd.

The court heard that between November 2011 and June 2014 Oliver stole a staggering £38,000 from one elderly man at the home, and later in 2014 she stole just over £7,000 from another male resident.

It is believed that as a result of her mean thefts, one of her victims, an ex-serviceman, was facing a ‘pauper’s funeral’ when he later died.

Oliver stole £800 from a third man at the home in 2014 and £200 from an elderly female resident between the end of July that year and early January last year.

She was also charged with stealing £300 from another old man, but pleaded guilty to that charge on the basis that the amount she stole from him was actually £100.

In addition, her plea to a charge of stealing £1,060 from Prime Life Ltd was entered on the basis that she accepted stealing a lower figure of £500 from the company.

Oliver, who the court was told was of previous good character, pleaded not guilty to four further charges of stealing four rings and £200 in cash from another resident and stealing £120 and £40 from two other people at the home.

Accepting her pleas, prosecutor Peter Arnold observed: “Counts one and two are the most significant counts.”

Asking for a longer-than-normal adjournment for a pre-sentence report to be prepared on Oliver, her barrister Marcus Harry explained that she was ‘currently under the care of a psychiatrist.’

Judge Sylvia de Bertodano agreed, and granted Oliver bail with conditions that she does not enter River Meadows Care Home and does not seek employment with vulnerable adults.

There will also be an investigation into Oliver’s finances prior to a hearing under the Proceeds of Crime Act, which is expected to take place in April.