Support worker stole £6000 from vulnerable victims

Ann Dunning of Newton St Faith stole more than £4,000 from a seriously-ill victim      Picture: Adrian Judd

Support worker stole £6000 from vulnerable victims - Credit: Archant

A support worker, who stole £6000 from three vulnerable people in her care, has been ordered to pay it all  back, a court heard.

Simon Connolly, prosecuting at Norwich Crown Court, said Tanya Warden, 48,  stole cash from three victims, who all had severe  learning difficulties and were residents at The Shieling residential home in Marham.

Mr Connolly said the thefts were discovered after investigations into cash withdrawals on the account of one of the victims.

Police were contacted and it was discovered Warden had made cash withdrawals from the accounts of two other victims, who she was a support worker for.

He said  she had withdrawn cash amounts of £50 to £300 from cashpoints.

He said in total £6061 had been taken from the three victims.

When interviewed in July 2020 she admitted she had taken cocaine to help her cope with the long hours she was working and took the cash to pay for it.

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Mr Connolly said  Warden at first borrowed the cash but it had then got out of control.

She told police she felt ashamed of herself.

Mr Connolly said the family of one of the victims expressed disappointment that someone would take advantage like that and said they would struggle to have trust in the future.

Warden of Ryston End, Downham Market, admitted three counts of fraud by abuse of position.

Hugh Vass, for Warden, said: "She is deeply ashamed of her behaviour."

He said she had been drinking and using cocaine to cope and said "It did not take long for that slippery slope to get very slippery indeed."

He said she immediately admitted her guilt and had now stopped using cocaine and alcohol.

"She knows she will  never be able to work in that type of work again."

Judge Katharine Moore imposed a nine month jail sentence suspended for 21 months and a 30 week curfew.

She also ordered her to pay back the £6000 she stole.

She said the cash she took was for the care of the victims and said: "It is a disgusting offence because the families of those you cared for felt duped by you."

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