Carer stole £7k from disabled woman but was caught and shopped by her own husband

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A care worker who stole £7,200 from a vulnerable woman and blew it on a luxury holiday in Mexico was caught when her husband saw her talking in her sleep surrounded by £20 notes.

Ruth Fort, 37, stole the money from a 48-year-old wheelchair-bound woman while working at the Crystal Hall Care Home.

The court heard she had preyed on the woman over two months.

Fort, from Birkenhead, was given another chance by a judge at Preston Crown Court in February 2021 when she was handed a 16-month jail term suspended for 18 months with conditions including attending drug rehabilitation sessions.

The sentencing judge spoke about the ”revulsion the public feels for individuals in positions of authority and responsibility who take advantage of vulnerable members of our community for financial gain.”

She told Fort: “The temptation here turned into greed and you should be thoroughly ashamed of your behaviour.”

Yesterday, Liverpool Crown Court was told she breached the suspended jail sentence by twice not attending drug rehabilitation sessions and had also missed a meeting with her probation officer.

Between October and December 2018, Fort had noted the victim’s pin number when she took her to an ATM and then later stole her bank card before using it to withdraw cash and buy items.

The ‘greedy’ woman was only caught after her husband Anthony found out and reported her to the police.

In November 2018, he become concerned about his wife’s spending habits after he saw her splashing an “extortionate” amount of cash while on holiday in Mexico.

In December, Fort’s aunt also expressed concerns after seeing her withdraw large amounts from a cash machine.

Later that same month, Anthony woke up to see his wife sitting up in bed and talking in her sleep, and her purse was on the floor with £20 notes coming out of it.

He found the victim’s bank card and Fort confessed to him when he challenged her about it.

Anthony then reported her to the police. Fort then fled the house but was eventually tracked down by detectives with the help of the DWP.

Yesterday, Fort admitted to breaching her suspended sentence.

John Keane, defending, said that Fort is a vulnerable member of society and her life had broken down as a result of the case.

He told the court Fort suffers from epilepsy and has a 15-year-old daughter who depends on her.

She injured her spine in her last major epileptic fit and was waiting for an operation but it has been delayed because of the pandemic.

Mr Keane said that some of the drug rehabilitation courses involved attending Zoom meetings but this was not ideal for his client and she would benefit from human interaction.

He said: “She says she has turned a corner and if drug tests had not been suspended because of Covid they would prove negative.”

Judge Brian Cummings, QC, said he took into account the impact an immediate jail sentence would have on her daughter.

He said he would give her one last chance and did not activate the suspended sentence.

He imposed a six-week curfew between 7am and 7pm and warned her that if she breaches the orders or commits any other offences the jail term would probably be activated.

He said: “Almost certainly this is your last chance.”