Norfolk care home manager stole from two residents

A trusted manager of a Norfolk residential care home stole �695 from two residents and then tried to blame other members of staff for the theft, a court heard.

Rebecca Fox, 41, who worked at the Broadland Park residential home in Upton, near Acle, phoned police and contacted the home owner about the theft of the cash, which had been taken from a locked filing cabinet to which only Fox and a few other members of staff had access, Norwich Crown Court was told on Friday.

Fox even regularly contacted the officer in the case for updates on the investigation – while all the time she knew she was responsible for the theft. One member of staff was arrested and questioned about the matter in January, this year, and police wasted 20 hours investigating the offence.

Fox finally confessed to stealing the cash because of her mounting debt problems and to pay towards her ex-husband's funeral costs.

Rachel Cushing, prosecuting, said the member of staff who had been taken in for questioning said in an impact statement how she had sleepless nights over the allegations.

'She was petrified when interviewed by police. When she returned to work she felt she was under a dark cloud. She was relieved when Fox admitted she was responsible.'

Fox resigned from her job after confessing what she had done. The court heard the home had also reimbursed the money to the couple.

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Fox, of Marlborough Green Crescent, Martham, near Great Yarmouth, admitted theft and perverting the course of justice.

Judge Martin Binning imposed a six-month jail term, suspended for two years, and ordered her to do 200 hours unpaid work.

He said that her actions had led to one person being interviewed about the matter and feeling under suspicion.

'Police also spent some 20 hours investigating a case to which you knew the answer,' he added.

However, he accepted she had been suffering from severe depression as her ex-husband had died and she had been left with debts from a loan taken out by another partner.

Katharine Moore, for Fox, said that she felt 'profound remorse' over what she had done.

'She is someone who has been through a whole host of terrible experiences. She has had a lot of tragedy and bereavement. She got progressively ground down. She is now receiving help with her mental health.'

She said that Fox was about to be made bankrupt and had lost everything.

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