Care home manager Sharon Smith spared jail over £9k fraud

Truro Crown Court
Image caption A small group of supporters were in court for the sentencing

A former care home manager who swindled a resident out of more than £9,000 has been spared jail.

Sharon Smith, 52, repeatedly took a "vulnerable" man to a bank branch to withdraw the cash in an "appalling breach of trust".

Gambling addict Smith no longer works at Rowan House in Saltash, Cornwall.

Smith, of Burraton, was previously found guilty of fraud and sentenced on Friday at Truro Crown Court to two years in jail, suspended for two years.

The court heard that Smith, who had been regarded highly by her employers, had a serious gambling addiction, leading her to devise the plan.

She told her 68-year-old victim the money taken from the bank was to pay for fees for his care.

Appalling breach

She was convicted on 17 March of one count of fraud after a trial.

In a victim impact statement, the resident said he was angry at the "betrayal of trust" he had suffered, and his mental and physical health had deteriorated as a result.

Sentencing, Recorder Andrew Maitland said Smith was previously an "unblemished character" and had committed an "appalling breach of trust".

Jason Beal, for the defence, told the court Smith had become a "shell of her former self".

Smith was also ordered to attend a rehabilitation program and undertake 200 hours of community work.

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