Former care home boss stole from elderly

A former care home manager who fleeced elderly residents and her employers out of more than £30,000 in a “systematic fraud of vulnerable people” was jailed for 12 months yesterday.

A former care home manager who fleeced elderly residents and her employers out of more than £30,000 in a “systematic fraud of vulnerable people” was jailed for 12 months yesterday.

Lisa Thompson-Tullis stole savings belonging to elderly residents at Hethersett Hall over a period of two years and ripped off the owner of the home.

She pleaded guilty to 12 offences of theft and was sentenced at Norwich Crown Court.

The court was told that the 40-year-old mother of two persuaded residents to write cheques, which she paid into her own account.


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On one occasion, she asked an elderly woman to pay a £2,600 deposit which had not been due.

The court heard that the thefts came to light after an internal investigation into financial irregularities at the private home.

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After Thompson-Tullis's dismissal, it was discovered that she had stolen £28,751 from residents, plus a further £1,750 from her employers.

Michael Clare, in her defence, said his client had become depressed after her divorce and the death of her mother.

She stole after falling into debt, he said.

Mr Clare told the court: The defendant is remorseful and she has pleaded guilty at the earliest possible opportunity.

“She was in debt, she fell into temptation and failed to resist that temptation perhaps at a time when her resistance was pretty low.”

He said the death of her mother affected Thompson-Tullis “quite badly”, and added: “She failed to cope”.

Thompson-Tullis, from Scarning, was general manager at the care home in Norwich Road, Hethersett, from June 2005 until she was dismissed in October last year.

Action was taken after Barchester Healthcare found some financial irregularities within its own accounts and then made some inquiries with the residents.

Because of these inquiries Thompson-Tullis was dismissed and charged on September 5.

The company says it has since brought in changes to ensure the thefts could not happen again

and has promised to refund the residents.

Judge Paul Downes jailed Thompson-Tullis for 12 months and told her: “This was a systematic fraud of vulnerable people, I'm afraid. It really was a breach of trust.

“You were employed there to assist not to steal. What you did was to steal from vulnerable elderly people.

“This was not a case of small amounts either. The total is remarkable.”

After the hearing, Det Con Huw Caine, of Norfolk police's adult abuse and investigation unit, said nine of the offences related to elderly victims who were in their 70s, 80s and 90s. The other three offences related to the home.

Det Con Caine described Thompson-Tullis's offences as shocking and added: “I'm satisfied that we got a custodial sentence. It sends the right message out.”

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