An NHS administrator stole thousands of pounds of patient’s money after her husband lost his job and debts began to climb.
Carolyn Green, who was responsible for banking the cash, kept £4,980 which had been paid by patients at Stow Lodge in Stowmarket.
Green, 65, of Wigston Road, Bury St Edmunds, was caught when she tried to hand back £1,000 overpaid to her on retirement in March 2011. An NHS fraud investigator checked records and found differences between bank deposit slips and what had actually been paid in, said prosecutor Christopher Paxton.
He told Ipswich Crown Court last Thursday that Green said she had been ashamed but had not known what else to do as debts rose. Her husband had had a heart attack and lost his job and her son-in-law was being treated for a brain tumour.
Green, who has no previous convictions, pleaded guilty to theft from an employer between July 2010 and January 2011.
Guy Ayers, defending, said she was now anxious to repay the money she had taken.
Judge David Goodin said he accepted Green, who worked for the NHS for 36 years, had expressed genuine remorse.
He made her subject of a community order with requirements for supervision for 12 months, to attend a women’s emotional welfare course and complete 120 hours of unpaid work.
A hearing in February will try to recoup money she stole.