An administrator at a Desborough care home stole £25,000 from a resident with dementia - before splurging it on luxury jewellery and TVs.
Chelsea McIntyre, 26, was in charge of looking after residents’ money at Beech Close Care Home in Lower Street.
As part of her role she kept their bank cards and details safe, but an investigation began in June 2015 after a surprise visit from a senior manager at the firm that runs the care home.
One resident was missing £200, but on July 29, 2015, it became apparent that much larger sums were missing.
Yesterday (Thursday), Northampton Crown Court heard how the family of a man in his 90s contacted the care home because they couldn’t find his bank statements.
When police analysed his account, they noticed that his pin had been requested at a cash point in Rothwell.
The person who entered it was McIntyre, who had taken sick leave before going on maternity leave.
Further investigations revealed she had made 154 transactions ranging from £20 to several hundreds.
One of the transactions took place in Kettering General Hospital, a day before McIntyre gave birth.
The total amount one victim lost was £25,909.69 - more than twice McIntyre’s salary of £12,000 a year.
Prosecutor Adrian Harris said: “His life savings had been taken.
“In his own words, he felt gutted.”
The theft left the victim and his family unable to pay residential fees at the care home.
McIntyre, of Gladstone Street in Desborough, pleaded guilty to 15 counts of theft against eight people and her employers Shaw Healthcare despite originally denying them last year, with other charges to lie on file.
Many of her victims had a reduced mental capacity and she also stole money from the company’s social fund.
The total value of her crimes was £27,443.59
When her home was visited by police on September 16, 2015, they found several new and luxury items.
They included Tiffany jewellery, a Michael Kors watch, Gucci watch and ring, new sofa, new chair, flat screen TVs and luxury perfume.
When she was challenged she claimed the items were gifts and fakes, the court heard.
Mitigating, Tom Walkling said McIntyre was “genuinely remorseful” and asked for a suspended sentence to be imposed.
He said: “She is genuinely very sorry for what she has done.
“She demonstrates genuine remorse and the best evidence of her remorse is her plea.”
But His Honour Judge Timothy Fowler said she had shown no remorse whatsoever for her ‘wicked’ crime.
Sentencing, he said: “Every day as you stole from them you saw them and your behaviour was anything other than remorseful and unrepenting.
“Even when it became clear there was an investigation you continued to steal.”
McIntyre wept uncontrollably in the dock as she was jailed for two years, a sentence reduced from three years because of her guilty plea and mitigating factors.
She will spend half of her two-year jail term in custody before being released on licence and will face a Proceeds of Crime Act hearing next year.
A spokesman for Shaw Healthcare said: “We’re pleased that our internal process identified the theft.
“The joint working between the police, local safeguarding, CPS and ourselves has proved that the process for handling such scenarios is working well.
“We hope that everyone will be reimbursed as quickly as possible and that the victims will feel a sense of closure.”