Disgraced support worker who stole from vulnerable people in her care spared prison (From The Advertiser Series)
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Newton Aycliffe support worker who stole from vulnerable people in her care spared prison
THE sister of a severely disabled man whose carer stole from him to pay off her debts is furious she has been spared prison.
Disgraced support worker Angela Gibbon stole £1,179 from five people with profound and multiple learning difficulties in Bishop Auckland in County Durham between April 2011 and August this year.
Gibbon was a respected and long-serving senior support worker with the 24-hour care provider United Response when the thefts occurred.
At Newton Aycliffe Magistrates Court today (Tuesday, October 29), magistrates sentenced her to six months in custody but suspended the jail term for 12 months.
The 38-year-old, who pleaded guilty to five charges of theft at a previous hearing, was also sentenced to 200 hours unpaid work and was ordered to repay the stolen amount in full, as well as an £80 victim surcharge.
Michelle Vasey, whose brother was one of the victims, said the sentence summed up “everything that is wrong with the British justice system”.
“Steal from disabled people and you’re guaranteed not to be put into prison but if she had stolen from the Government she would have been,” she said.
“This has truly devastated us as a family, especially as she was in a position of trust.”
Ms Vasey, 44, said Gibbon, of The Ballarat, Newton Aycliffe, had cared for her brother for 15 years and had even helped the grieving family organise his funeral when he passed away suddenly last year.
“I find this totally despicable as she was fully aware of what she was doing at this time,” she added.
At court, Jonathan Bambro, prosecuting, said Gibbon was one of a small number of staff trusted to take care of patients’ financial affairs.
He described how she had regularly skimmed off chunks of money, ranging from £10 to £100, from each victim and continued to do so until she was caught and immediately dismissed by a senior member of staff.
Gibbon, who was unrepresented, kept her head down during the proceedings and frequently broke down in tears.
She said: “I just want to say that I was in so much debt and I found it an easy way out. I know it was wrong and I am sorry for what I did.”