Volunteer faked police letter to trick St John Ambulance into lifting suspension

The new St John's Ambulance mobile treatment centre. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The new St John's Ambulance mobile treatment centre. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2018

A suspended volunteer tricked a charity into reinstating him while he was still being investigated over indecent images, a court heard.

And the healthcare assistant attempted the same stunt against his NHS employers – but was foiled.

Jordan Ellis, 26 and of Hethersett, was suspended by both the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital and St John Ambulance in June 2019 after police launched an investigation against him.

However, five months later he emailed both organisations asking to return to his posts, attaching a letter he claimed was from the investigating officer stating no further action was being taken.

While hospital bosses saw through the ruse, St John Ambulance re-instated him for six days before discovering the letter was false, Norwich Magistrates’ Court heard.

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Appearing in front of a district judge on Monday, Ellis, of Benbow Close, pleaded guilty to one count of fraud against the hospital – while a second charge in relation to St John was taken into consideration.

Prosecutor Josephine Jones said Ellis had emailed both organisations in November saying he “hoped he could come back soon”, having been suspended for five months. She added that the recipient at the NNUH had passed the email to the safeguarding department, which did not believe it. Meanwhile, St John Ambulance allowed him to return for six days before suspending him again.

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Maya Lal, mitigating for Ellis, said the suspended care assistant was of previous good character and had been volunteering for St John for 10 years – since he was a teenager.

She added that his six days of being re-instated was “not a significant amount of time”.

District judge Shanta Deonarine said her powers were insufficient to deal with Ellis, sending his case to Norwich Crown Court for sentencing at a later date.

She said: “The letters were sent with a purpose and in one case was successful.”

Two charges of impersonating a police officer were not pursued by the prosecution, while Miss Jones said Ellis was still being investigated over indecent images.

St John Ambulance and NNUH did not wish to comment at this time, but the latter confirmed he was no longer with the trust.

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