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Goodmayes care worker who conned vulnerable adults out of £8k faces jail

Wednesday, March 5, 2014
4:56 PM

A care worker fleeced vulnerable adults out of more than £8,000 and blew some of the cash on a break at a hotel, a court has heard.

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Grace Smith, 44, of Fenman Gardens, Goodmayes, pocketed £5,500 in cash from a Down’s syndrome sufferer and took £400 from another client, which she used to buy a bed.

She was working as a service co-ordinator for Three Cs, a company that assists adults with learning difficulties across Redbridge at the time, Snaresbrook Crown Court heard on Wednesday.

Part of the job involved helping people with their finances but in February last year Angela Woodley, a manager at Three Cs, learnt that Smith had bought a bed with a client’s cash.

An investigation revealed she had also conned a Down’s syndrome sufferer and used £1,176 from another client to pay a bill to Marriott Hotels.

Smith admitted five fraud charges and was bailed ahead of her sentence on April 2.

Judge Simon Freeland warned her she faced being jailed.

He said: “This case has a number of serious aggravating features - you were a service co-ordinator and you committed these frauds within a huge breach of trust.

“The victims of these frauds were extremely vulnerable and I have no doubt the custody threshold is crossed and a substantial and immediate custodial sentence will be uppermost in the court’s mind.”

Smith admitted five counts of fraud by abuse of position.

The offences took place between February 2012 and February 2013 and totalled £8,225.

Three Cs is described as a person-centred, inclusive organisation for people with learning disabilities and mental health challenges.

It runs community support services, supported living and day services in Redbridge and four other London boroughs.

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