Newmarket carer who stole from dementia sufferer caught on camera, court hears

Ipswich Crown Court ANL-140617-141524001
Ipswich Crown Court ANL-140617-141524001

A carer who stole from a dementia sufferer was caught on camera, a court has heard.

Caroline Castle-Read, 46, was twice seen looking into the handbag of the woman she had been employed to look after.

This was a particularly vulnerable victim who has since died

Today (Friday) Ipswich Crown Court heard how Castle-Read, of St David, Newmarket, had pleaded guilty to theft from Hazel Rowlands between April 19 and April 25, 2014.

Prosecuting, Adam Butler said the family of Mrs Rowlands had installed a camera system in her home to help ensure her safety.

It was that system which resulted in Castle-Read being caught when £50 in cash went missing, said Mr Butler.

Recordings were not continuous but were made when there was movement and when reviewed showed Castle-Read looking into the handbag on April 21 and then one minute later moving it to a chair.

Images also revealed Castle-Read again looking inside the bag as it hung from the same chair on April 25.

Mr Butler said Castle-Read was interviewed in June 2014 and denied having taken any money without permission. Castle-Read said she had been told by Mrs Rowlands to take £20 to buy cat food and that must have been what she had been seen doing.

Initially Castle-Read had denied theft but later changed her plea to guilty, the court heard.

Appearing for Castle-Read, Philip Farr said it was accepted that the offence had been a high breach of trust because of the position she had been in and the person she had been paid to care for.

Castle-Read had problems associated with alcohol and a probation report had concluded that she was at low risk of offending again, said Mr Farr. She had expressed remorse for what she had done.

Mr Farr said: “Although it is a breach of trust it is a low value and there is some degree of opportunism.

“This is not a person who is inherently dishonest.”

Sentencing her, Judge John Devaux told Castle-Read: “You were employed to look after people and not steal from them.

“This was a particularly vulnerable victim who has since died.”

Castle-Read was sentenced to 12 weeks imprisonment suspended for 18 months and ordered to pay £1,200 prosecution costs.

In addition, Judge Devaux told Castle-Read that she will be required to participate in a Women’s Emotional Wellbeing programme.