Birmingham & Black Country

Carer Michelle Warburton sentenced for attempted theft

A carer has been given a 12-month suspended sentence for attempting to steal money from the home of a severely disabled man.

Michelle Warburton, 36, a private carer from Druids Heath in Birmingham, was filmed on home CCTV trying to steal savings from Trevor Thomas.

She was convicted of two counts of attempted theft last month.

Birmingham City Council said it may fund CCTV if disabled people suspect their carer is committing a crime.

Mr Thomas's family, who hired Warburton as one of four carers to help with his round-the-clock care, said security cameras are now essential to protect the vulnerable.

'Building confidence'

The 44-year-old, who suffers from the neurological disorder dystonia, had hundreds of pounds in a safe in his Birmingham home.

The CCTV footage, shown to jurors at Birmingham Crown Court last month, showed Warburton repeatedly entering the room where it was located and her crawling on her hands and knees.

She told the court she was trying to find a phone number.

Image caption Trevor Thomas's mother Pat said her son had lost a lot of confidence

Mr Thomas's mother Pat said she wanted to stop Warburton from targeting other families.

"It's a matter of building his (her son's) confidence back up," she said.

"I didn't take Michelle Warburton to court for Trevor because I could have just sacked her.

"I took Michelle Warburton to court to protect other vulnerable adults that she may have just moved on to."

Warburton was also ordered to serve 150 hours of community service by the judge at the city's crown court on Friday.

The city council told BBC News it had started talking to a CCTV supplier and would also consider helping people who privately hire carers, like Mr Thomas did.

Spokesman Peter Hay said: "We would included it in consideration of how we would respond to any sort of suspected issues.

"We have already begun a dialogue with a supplier of CCTV which might also be about how do we extended that to people who are buying their own care too or acting independently of that bought by the council."

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