Jailed care home thief ordered to pay back £20,000 to victims

Woman ordered to pay back 20,000
Woman ordered to pay back 20,000

A woman who stole almost £20,000 from vulnerable victims has been ordered to pay them back – along with the wages she earned whilst stealing the cash.

Beverley Armitage, 50, of Grimsby, worked as a team leader at a care home run by Humberside Independent Care Association (HICA), when financial irregularities came to light.

The thefts were discovered in April 2013 following scrutiny of the accounts. She was sacked in May that year.

She was arrested in February 2014 after it emerged five victims in need of 24 hour care had lost £1,667.25; £4,799.47; £635.11; £6,557.23 and £5,855.54 respectively.

At a hearing at Grimsby Crown Court in January 2015, Armitage pleaded guilty to five counts of fraud by abuse of position, five counts of false accounting and money laundering.

She was jailed for 20 months after the court heard she had either helped herself to money directly from her victim’s bank accounts or raised fake invoices to get her hands on the cash.

A proceeds of crime hearing was held at Grimsby Crown Court in July last year, during which it was agreed that had HICA known of her behaviour she would have been sacked – meaning the wages she received during the time she was offending were a benefit of her criminal conduct.

As a result, Armitage was ordered to sell her home so that her share of the equity - £41,022 – would be forfeited and the £19,514.60 stolen from her victims would be paid back to them.

Senior Financial Investigator Lorraine Baines said: “This was a particularly despicable crime where a person had been employed in a position of trust to support and help vulnerable people, yet Armitage preyed on them and systematically over a two year period took their money.

“All the victims have all been compensated and Armitage has lost all of her assets.

“The Asset Recovery Investigation Unit of Humberside Police have worked tirelessly to ensure all the victims have been financially compensated.”

NB: The care home where she worked cannot be named for legal reasons.