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Home   Kent   News   Article

Carer Kate Woods jailed for stealing from patient with cerebral palsy

23 October 2012
by Danny Boyle

Maidstone crown court, where Woods' case was heard

A carer has been sent to prison for callously stealing cash from an elderly woman suffering from cerebral palsy.

Kate Woods, of Copswood Way, Bearsted, Maidstone, was told by a judge it was “a mean and nasty offence”.

She denied taking £100 from 76-year-old Eunice Higgins, but was convicted by a jury.

Jailing Woods, 28, for two months, Judge Michael Carroll told her: “It is about a gross breach of trust as one can imagine - a lady who has had special needs throughout her life with increasing dependence on carers.”

Woods took the money from Miss Higgins’ purse at her Maidstone home while working for Kent Care Home.

Submitting that Woods could be spared prison, Benjamin Holt, defending, said suspicion was not deliberately thrown onto others.

"she looked on you as a friend and you let her down" – judge michael carroll
“The ongoing effect will be colossal in terms of future employment she is able to get,” he said.

“The sentence could be suspended on account of her age and good character. She is highly unlikely to offend in future because she is highly unlikely to be in that position again.

“She is willing to do anything the court will impose to avoid a custodial sentence.”

Woods wept as Judge Carroll told her: “It gives this court no pleasure whatsoever to have to sentence in the way I am about to for someone who has reached the age of 28 and never been before the courts before.

“I suspect it is highly unlikely you will be before them in future. But this was a mean and nasty offence. Miss Higgins is a lady who has suffered greatly throughout her life.

“I suspect not everything has gone smoothly for you either. I have no doubt whatsoever that the jury’s verdict is correct. It is clear Miss Higgins got it right and you were the one stealing.

“That’s why she set the bait and you took it. You may have had financial difficulties but that cannot justify stealing even £100 from a lady who was living on benefits.

“She looked on you as a friend and you let her down. I know it is not a positive thing to send someone like yourself to prison but these kind of offences are extremely serious. A message must be sent out loud.”

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