Carer jailed for stealing from patients

A “COLD-blooded” carer who stole jewellery from her patients has been sentenced to 10 months in prison.

A “COLD-blooded” carer who stole jewellery from her patients has been sentenced to 10 months in prison.

Sentencing judge Nicholas Coleman said he was left “dumbstruck” by the actions of Beverley Warner, who stole from two elderly women in her care at Poppyfields assisted living complex in Eynesbury, before selling the items on.

The 51-year-old remained impassive as Huntingdon Crown Court heard how she stole three rings from 90-year-old Doreen Smith, including Mrs Smith’s engagement ring, during the night of August 21 last year.

Warner, of Cornwallis Drive, Eaton Socon, stole again on August 27, taking a Queen Victoria sovereign and gold chain from 84-year-old Doreen Rallison.

Warner pretended to join the search for Mrs Smith’s items the following morning and invented a cover story to explain why she had been in Mrs Rallison’s room during the night.

She even suggested that Mrs Smith had accidentally thrown her engagement ring in the bin, preying on her patient’s longstanding fear that she would develop Alzheimer’s.

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John Goodier, prosecuting, said that Mrs Smith had had “her heart broken” by the loss of her engagement ring, which dated to 1943, and for which her husband Harry had saved every penny he had.

He told the court that when Mrs Rallison was disturbed by Warner during the night, Warner had made up a story that Mrs Rallison had been sleepwalking and was being returned to bed.

In a statement, Mrs Smith said that the incident had caused her “distressed and sadness, and mistrusting of my new carers”.

She added: “I was devastated that my rings were stolen. When I found out who it was I felt sick. Beverley was someone I trusted and I felt she had become a friend.”

She described Warner’s feigned sympathy in trying to find the ring as “cold-blooded cheek”.

The sovereign ring and chain stolen from Mrs Rallison had been a pair with a King George sovereign belonging to Mrs Rallison’s father, and had been due to be passed down the family. She had worn it every day for over 40 years.

Mrs Smith’s 100-year-old ring was sold to a jeweller in St Neots for �50, but her engagement ring was not recovered. Mrs Rallison’s sovereign and chain was sold for �150, and melted down before it could be recovered.

Warner had already pleaded guilty to two charges of burglary, at a hearing at Huntingdon Magistrates’ Court on December 15.

Mitigating, Melanie Benn said Warner had been experiencing money difficulties after her husband’s death and had been treated for depression.

Ms Benn added: “She has found it difficult to articulate any reason for these offences having been committed.”

Judge Coleman said: “Anyone listening to the facts of the case can only be dumbstruck, as I am, that anyone in your position should choose to do what you did. It was a gross breach of trust.

“Mrs Smith describes your conduct as cold-blooded cheek. I agree with her.”