A care home administrator stole money from the private funds of vulnerable and elderly residents from two homes and tried to cover her tracks by lying about being a victim.
Kylie Banks, 37, was a trusted administrative assistant working at The Limes in Driffield and Foresters Lodge Care Home in Bridlington when residents had no idea she was helping herself to £3,467 from two funds.
Banks took over as administrative assistant at both homes to cover holiday and sick duties with safe keys, Hull Crown Court heard.
Crown barrister Julia Baggs said no-one suspected anything at The Limes home in June 2013 until she had left to take over sick leave at Foresters home for same firm. She was trusted to handle money in locked tins containing maintenance fees and the residents’ pocket money. She had listed one outgoing as a payment to a care home entertainer.
She stole first from The Limes taking two rolls of £20 notes valued at £1,000 each. She then stole money from the Foresters’ safe while before she came under suspicion.
Banks of Cornfield Crescent, Bridlington, appeared at Hull Crown Court on Monday pleading guilty on the eve of a scheduled trial with witnesses on standby to give evidence.
She pleaded guilty to one charge of stealing £3,467 belonging to Burlington Care Ltd between 16 June and 25 June 2013.
Ms Baggs said the managing director of Burlington Care Ltd had earlier shown confidence in Banks. He had advanced her £2,250 towards her wages in April 2013 after she explained her family were in financial crisis. When quizzed by the police she tried to turn the tables on the generosity claiming other staff had “stitched her up” because they knew she had borrowed money.
She said she been set up by other staff who she barely knew. Police began digging and found she had mortgage arrears and debts on credit cards, store cards, utility bills. She was also in debt to a pay-day loan firm. She protested her innocence for 21 months gaining another job in the meantime.
Defence barrister Wendy Foster said Banks had been open with her new employer about facing the allegations and hoped they would keep her on despite her guilty plea to theft.
She said Banks was not afraid of hard work, but had got into debt and along with her partner, was trying to work her way out of it.
“She is a committed family woman,” said Miss Foster. “She has a 15-year-old daughter. This incident was out of character. She has found the proceedings very unpleasant. She has lost her good character. She knows her new job maybe at risk as a result of this.”
Sentencing Judge Felicity Davies told Banks: “It is not possible to determine whether your debts were a result of your stupidity, or over ambitious mortgage. This was residents’ money although in the hands of your employer in a locked safe. Two keys were available; one was with the manager, the other was yours. One of the aggravating features of the case was your employer had actually tried to help you. . You suggested at one point you had been set up. That was a particularly disappointing response.
“Offences of this sort, in breach of trust of an employer, are particularly serious.”
Banks was given a 12-month community order and told to complete 200-hours of unpaid work in the community. Banks left Bridlington after her offending moving first to Long Riston and now lives in Holme Lane, York.
She will face a Proceeds of Crime hearing at Hull Crown Court on July 6 to recover her ill-gotten gains.