Care home manager June Anne Walters jailed over ‘a monstrous breach of trust’

June Ann Walters, former manager of Priory Court care home in Stamford, who was jailed for a year for stealing money from residents
June Ann Walters, former manager of Priory Court care home in Stamford, who was jailed for a year for stealing money from residents
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A CARE home manager has been jailed for a year after stealing from residents in what a judge described as a “monstrous breach of trust”.

A CARE home manager has been jailed for a year after stealing from residents in what a judge described as a “monstrous breach of trust”.

June Ann Walters admitted stealing more than £14,000 from two vulnerable residents, who both have learning difficulties, while she was manager at Priory Court Care Home in Stamford.

She was jailed at Lincoln Crown Court on Friday last week.

The sentence has been welcomed by investigating officer Det Con Richard Nethercott.

He said the victims had no family, which increased Walters’ chances of getting away with the crime.

He added: “This was a callous crime committed by a person in a position of trust in our community and we hope our successful investigation and the sentence passed down by the courts deters others from criminal activity like this.”

In court Jonathon Dee, prosecuting, said Walters was supposed to use the victims’ state benefits to pay for their care home fees but instead took their money and bought a £300 fridge freezer from a store in Oakham.

Walters also bought clothes and groceries and paid for a train trip to York where she used one victim’s account to buy expensive chocolates as a Christmas present for staff and residents at the home.

She was caught when a colleague checked a bank statement for one of the victims and discovered transactions which could not have been made by the resident or made on their behalf.

Walters also took money from her second victim after arranging for most of her benefit money to be paid into Walters’ own account. This victim ended up more than £3,000 in arrears with her care home fees.

Mr Dee said: “(The victims) both had severe learning difficulties. They have no concept of money or finances and are unable to look after their own affairs.

“Throughout these proceedings they have been unaware of the defendant’s actions. Walters was in a position of trust being an appointee to their bank accounts.”

Walters, 54, of Queen’s Road, Uppingham, admitted three charges of theft between December 2008 and December 2010 involving £8,574 stolen from one victim and £5,496 from the other.

Judge Sean Morris told her: “I cannot avoid an immediate custodial sentence. What you did was unforgivable. You are an intelligent woman with good training. You must have known exactly what you were doing and that it was wrong.”

Judith Brennan, mitigating, said Walters was suspended from her job as soon as the matters came to light and later resigned.

Walters subsequently obtained work in a factory but lost that job after details of the charges she faced became public knowledge.

Mrs Brennan said: “She is a lady of previous good character who fully accepts she was put in a high degree of trust.

“She was interviewed by the police on two occasions and made full admissions. She was open and honest to them.

“Her work was her whole life. She is a trained nurse and will, no doubt, not be able to get work in that field again.”

Mrs Brennan said that at the time of the offences Walters was in financial difficulty and her home was eventually repossessed.

Southern Cross, which runs Priory Court, said in a statement: “Ms Walters was dismissed from Priory Court shortly following her arrest.

“Southern Cross has been co-operating with the police, Lincolnshire Social Services and the Care Quality Commission.

“A new home manager is now in place who is an experienced care professional.”