Abiola Akinremi, Nigerian housekeeper, was sentenced to seven months in prison for stealing the savings of a vulnerable UK resident.
The 41-year-old mother-of-three was brought before the court for using her position as an administrator at the facility, Bostall House in Abbey Wood, south-east London, to make dozens of unauthorized withdrawals from patients’ bank accounts.
According to the prosecution team, some residents of the home are detained under the Mental Health Act, and those who do not have family support hand over control of their finances to administrators and carers.
Police investigations showed that Ms. Akinremi began stealing from residents when she needed money for childcare and continued the scam to “finance her own lifestyle”.
“Prosecutor Robert Levack told the court; “People who live in the home are all vulnerable, they have various illnesses, and they are being held under the Mental Health Act or other legislation. It’s a 24-hour care facility.
They are not allowed to leave Bostall House without a staff member or family member. Others are concerned with their financial housing.
Investigators were brought in when concerns were raised about Akinremi’s activities in November 2018.
They found that forty-three thousand naira were missing from residents’ bank accounts, including one victim’s thirty-two thousand pounds.
“The way cash and money were handled on behalf of the residents of the house was not enough,” said Levac.
The Nigerian care home worker denied being the victim of fraud until the first day of her trial, insisting that other staff at the home were trying to “shift the blame” to her.
She eventually admitted to taking nineteen thousand six hundred and fifty pounds over the course of eight months from three residents, and continued to say that others at the home were involved in wrongdoing.
“Ms Akinremi is only responsible for her own conduct,” said her lawyer Ranjit Dulai, pointing to evidence of taking money from residents at times when Akinremi was on holiday.
Dulay said the manager was depressed when the fraud started and needed money for childcare when the fraud started.
“It was an opportunistic offense at first, but she has continued to engage with it,” she said.
Akinremi went to work at another nursing home after being fired from Bostall House and was “trying to make amends and fit into the type of community she stole from,” Ms Dulay added.
Judge Rafferty rejected a plea for a suspended prison sentence, concluding that an immediate spell behind bars would be appropriate.
Akinremi, from Tilbury, Essex, admitted three counts of abuse of office fraud.
The presiding judge, Angela Rafferty KC, sentenced Akinremi to seven months in prison, saying: “It was a repetitive and planned course of behavior and a very serious breach of the trust of vulnerable people.”