GLOUCESTERHIRE, ENGLAND—A residential care home manager has been jailed for eight months for stealing money from “extremely vulnerable” clients to fund her bingo play.
Rachel Stokes, 48, siphoned money from three residents at the home in Gloucestershire over a year-long period after being entrusted with their bank cards and pin numbers because they had learning difficulties.
Stokes, from Dursley in Gloucestershire, England, withdrew up to £400 ($485 U.S.) each month from the clients’ accounts, spending the money on bingo sessions.
Her clients did not notice the thefts, but they were uncovered in an audit by Gloucestershire county council.
Sentencing her at Gloucester crown court, Judge Jamie Tabor QC told Stokes her actions were “the most shocking breach of trust”. He said:
“You looked after some of the most vulnerable people in society, some who could not even speak or articulate their concerns. Over a period of a year you stole from them regularly, apparently to fund a habit that you had.”
Stokes worked as general manager of a care home, which cannot be named to protect her victims.
She admitted three charges of defrauding three vulnerable people in her care, between November 2012 and November 2013.
Speaking after the hearing, a family member of one of her victims said a tougher sentence should have been imposed. “I am not happy, we definitely needed longer,” she said. “There are just no words to describe what she has done.”