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Police filmed as money was 'stolen' at Bromsgrove care home
4:39pm Tuesday 11th September 2012 in News
POLICE placed a £10 note inside a resident's room at a Bromsgrove care home as a decoy, and filmed it being taken by a lead carer, a jury was told.
After money went missed from Breme House, police planted the money and installed CCTV in room 207.
Staff were informed by management the room was temporarily vacant but that an elderly woman was due to move in, said Siobhan Collins, prosecuting at Worcester Crown Court.
They were told the woman's family were putting in her personal possessions, ready for her arrival.
Miss Collins said lead carer Jane Sutton, employed at the Providence Road home since September 2003, went into the room five times in a four-day period last year.
She alleged Sutton searched through possessions, placed there by police, and stole the note on July 30 from the pocket of a coat hanging on a wardrobe.
Sutton, 53, of Littleheath Lane, Lickey End, Bromsgrove, denies theft. She is defending herself.
She told police she found the note, put it in an envelope and left it in an office drawer for safe keeping.
The envelope was never found.
Miss Collins said there was no record of her telling another lead carer what she had done at the end of her shift.
When Sutton was arrested on August 8 last year she mainly answered "no comment" when asked to explain her actions.
"The prosecution say she knew the £10 was there and went in explicitly to take it. Her purpose was to steal it," said Miss Collins.
Laura Wilkes, the home's deputy manager at the time, said vacant rooms were left locked. Staff normally only went in to show a new resident round, or to check it if a resident went missing, as some suffer from dementia.
She said room 207 was allocated to the police on the second floor. On June 27, a detective contacted her and told her someone had been into the room.
Mrs Wilkes said Sutton admitted she had been in because she thought she had heard a bang, and went in to check nothing was wrong.
She said staff finding valuables had to put them in an envelope, and get them counter-signed. It should then be left in a medication cupboard or under the lead carers' office door.
But Mrs Wilkes could not recall any property being handed in.
It was also not reported in a senior staff handover book.
Sutton was later suspended.
The trial continues.