Council worker could face prison for stealing money belonging to vulnerable adults

West Suffolk House
West Suffolk House

A former council employee has been warned she could face prison after admitting stealing money belonging to vulnerable adults.

Caroline Green, 44, of Smithy Close, Rougham, had initially denied taking the cash but today, as her trial at Ipswich Crown Court began a second day, she changed her plea to guilty on all but one charge.

She admitted five offences of fraud by abuse of position, for false accounting committed between November 1, 2010, and July 31, 2012, while the sixth charge is expected to be left on file.

At the time of the offences, Green was employed by Suffolk County Council as a business support manager, working at West Suffolk House in Bury St Edmunds.

Before Green changed her plea, Anthony Abell, prosecuting, told the jury Green’s job had involved managing funds on behalf of vulnerable adults, organising weekly cash withdrawals for their carers, social workers or health professionals.

Mr Abell claimed that Green, who was also responsible for maintaining records of the funds held in trust for vulnerable adults and a cash float, had stolen ‘little and often’, taking sums of £50 or £100 and then amending accounting documents to cover her tracks.

Green paid out what was requested but then withdraw a larger sum, keeping the difference for herself.

Afterwards, she altered paperwork and entered inflated figures on the council’s computer system, said Mr Abell.

It is claimed Green was responsible for the loss of about £12,000.

After Green changed her pleas, Judge Peter Jacobs said her offending had been serious and he was considering imposing an immediate prison sentence when she returns to court for sentencing next week.

Judge Jacobs said: “This is money that was allocated for the needs of particularly vulnerable people, to be spent at the discretion of their carers. This was public money that was allocated for their needs.”