A SUPPORT worker at a Doncaster care home tried to kill himself because he was riddled with guilt about raiding the safe and taking hundreds of pounds from some of the residents, a court heard.
Batisani Nleya, a Zimbabwean national who was seeking asylum in the UK, took an overdose after committing the theft at Horseshoe Court in Balby, which provides supported accommodation for adults with learning difficulties.
The 44-year-old was traced to Doncaster Royal Infirmary where he was being treated and told police officers: "I've taken an overdose because I couldn't live with taking money from my work."
Nleya, formerly of Balby but now living in Meadow Close, Dalton, Rotherham, admitted three offences of theft from Horseshoe Court and two from male residents.
Prosecutor Ian Goldsack said the defendant had been employed as a support worker in a trusted capacity without any previous concerns about his conduct.
But on the night of March 16 last year, when he should have been on duty, he left the premises unattended and the residents unsupervised.
The next morning a manager found the safe was open, with 600 cash missing from a box, and more money taken from the two men's wallets.
Only a limited number of people knew the code for the safe and the defendant was one of them.
Enquiries later showed Nleya, who knew the PIN numbers, had also used their bank cards to withdraw money but had replaced most of it before he was caught.
When his home in Balby was searched the stolen cards were found by police, said Mr Goldsack. He told them his family was in financial difficulty at the time.
Although the two men had more than 2,800 removed from their accounts, Nleya had deposited more than 2,200 "so in effect the money was being borrowed and partly repaid," said Mr Goldsack.
The defendant arrived in this country from Zimbabwe in 2000 and successfully appealed against a decision not to grant him political asylum.
Defence counsel Michael Cane-Soothill said Nleya was still unemployed after being dismissed from his job and had a young daughter.
He was sentenced to an 18 month community order and ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work.
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