A despicable carer from Zimbabwe who stole more than £16,000 from a vulnerable man who had been in special care since he was a child was jailed.
Mavis Ngwerume was put in charge of the victim’s finances due to her senior position at the care home and was found to have been stealing money from him for six years before she was caught.
The 65-year-old tried to blame other staff at the care home but was eventually arrested and charged with fraud.
She denied the offences and was convicted by a jury of fraud by abuse of position and was sentenced to 15 months in prison at Reading Crown Court on Thursday.
The jury heard how the 58-year-old victim was in care from the age of eight and was lacking all mental capacity when the money was stolen.
Miss Recorder Sarah Campbell described Ngwerume’s actions as a ‘theft of public money’ due to the time Mr Parsley had spent in the care system.
Sentencing Ngwerume, she said: “This despicable offence saw her steal £16,551 from the victim between June 2009 and April 2015.
“The victim was 58 years old and had been in care since he was eight years old.
“The evidence in this case was very strong in terms of time and location. Three times you went on holiday and no money was withdrawn in those periods.”
Ngwerume, 65, from Merchants Place, Reading, had been in charge of Mr Parsley’s finances after being appointed as the manager of the home.
Recorded Campbell added: “Between 2009 and 2014 you took this money from the victim. By May of 2014 the victim was lacking in mental capacity and was vulnerable.
“This is an abuse of power or trust. You cannot quite believe and do not want to believe that you did this. You used the money to see your children abroad and to send to them.
“I have heard about the caring person you are and you have bought up children over the years by yourself. The person who committed the crime is in sharp contrast from the person who described by good character reports.
“You set out to cast suspicion everywhere you could, the victim as well as colleagues. Several of your colleagues were interviewed under caution.
“Because you did not plead guilty and you set out to blame others and you cannot pay the money back, it is my view you should be incarcerated. The whole tone of the evidence was to blame other people at the rest home.”
Ngwerume survived two husbands and fled from Zimbabwe 17 years ago to start a life in the United Kingdom and used the money she stole to send to children and grandchildren still in the African nation.
Ngwerume was sentenced to 15 months in prison, with the second half to be served on licence. She was supported from the public gallery by one of her sons and one of her daughters.
Clare Evans, defending, argued against a custodial sentence of more than 12 months as this would jeopardise Ngwerume’s position in the UK as she has neither indefinite leave to remain or citizenship, despite having lived here for 17 years. Reading Chronicle