Leanne Wallace, 40, used the card belonging to Leslie Rushworth after he was admitted to the University Hospital of North Tees where she worked. Mr
Leanne Wallace, 40, used the card belonging to Leslie Rushworth after he was admitted to the University Hospital of North Tees where she worked. Mr Rushworth was admitted to the hospital in 2020 with pneumonia, anorexia and general deterioration.
Teesside Magistrates’ Court heard how Wallace used his cash to purchase the wallpaper, household items and products online.
The NHS worker, from Hartlepool, was also found to have abused her position by using Mr Rushworth’s bank details to pay off an outstanding loan which she had, Teesside Live reports.
Prosecutor Alan Davison told the court how the patient was taken into the hospital on July 3 last year.
He said: “I don’t think he went home after that.”
He also pointed out that Mr Rushworth’s son first became aware of the incident after noticing a message on his dad’s phone from NatWest about suspected fraudulent activity.
Initially the victim’s son thought it may have been a scam.
The court heard that, by July 15, a further message from the bank was spotted which Mr Rushworth’s son said didn’t appear suspicious.
He had used his father’s iPad and app and spotted the financial transactions had been carried out while his father was in hospital.
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On Monday, Wallace pleaded guilty to four counts of fraud by abuse of position.
Two offences were committed on July 12, 2020, while a further two were committed the following day on July 13.
Tom Moran, Deputy District Judge, told Alex Bousfield, solicitor for the defendant, the case should be committed to the crown court.
While Mr Bousfield didn’t disagree, he asked for a pre-sentence report to be prepared in Wallace’s case.
He said: “There’s a lot of issues as you can imagine. It seems to me like a report is going to be required.”
As a result Deputy District Judge Moran told the defendant that he was sending her to Teesside Crown Court as the powers at Teesside Magistrates’ Court will be “insufficient”.
He said: “Your case is committed to the crown court where you will be sentenced.
“You have had the good sense to plead guilty, you will then be rewarded the appropriate credit in due course.
“Before you’re sentenced the crown court will be assisted by a probation report.
“That’s no indication obviously as to what the sentence will be.”
She was then handed unconditional bail prior to her appearance at Teesside Crown Court on November 15.