A carer stole more than £16,000 from a vulnerable man on the day he died.
Clair Sohail, 48, went to the man’s address in Balderton after learning he had died in hospital and helped herself to £16,800 in cash.
Nottingham Crown Court heard Sohail had been caring for the 71-year-old man for around six months and had become a trusted friend.
But Sohail abused that trust by taking the cash and depositing the bulk of it in her bank account the next day – just 24 hours after the man died on 12 June 2019.
Nottinghamshire Police launched an investigation after concerns were raised by one of the deceased man’s relatives.
Sohail – who had also cared for the man’s wife for approximately eight years prior to her death in 2018 – was arrested but initially denied theft, insisting she had taken the money and personal papers for safekeeping.
When asked to account for the £16,800 paid into her bank account the day after the man’s death, she insisted it was money she had saved over a number of years, made up of donations from the deceased man and his late wife, plus money from her father’s estate following his death in 2017.
Inquiries found she then made a string of high-value purchases including a £1,000 television, a luxury holiday in Spain and numerous catalogue purchases. She also paid her credit cards off in full.
Following a detailed investigation, detectives charged Sohail with theft.
The case was heading for trial until Sohail, of Wolfit Avenue, Balderton, changed her plea to guilty on 18 July last year.
She appeared at Nottingham Crown Court for sentencing on Wednesday (10 January) and was jailed for one year and eight months, suspended for 18 months. She must also undertake a Rehabilitation Activity Requirement of up to 25 days.
Following the sentencing, Detective Constable Anna Haynes, of Nottinghamshire Police’s Fraud Investigation Team, said:
“Sohail preyed on a vulnerable man who believed she had his best interests at heart.
“What she did on the day he died was despicable. She was in a position of trust and sadly abused it for her own selfish gain. Sohail’s crime has prolonged the family’s grief and I hope this sentence will provide some comfort and allow them to move on.
“I also hope this case sends a message that Nottinghamshire Police takes financial abuse really seriously and that we investigate all reports we receive thoroughly.
“We're glad that we were able to bring Sohail before the courts and that she's now been held to account for her crime.”