Chesterfield carer caught stealing on hidden camera

Chesterfield magistrates' court.
Chesterfield magistrates' court.
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A carer was caught on camera stealing from a woman in her own home.

Tracey Hollingsworth, 45, of Thornfield Court, Chesterfield, pleaded guilty to three offences of theft when she appeared at Chesterfield Magistrates’ Court on Monday.

The court heard that she stole £10 and £20 notes from retired Maureen Tighe, who kept cash in a locked tin in her bedroom.

Becky Allsop, prosecuting, said: “The victim has carers come to her home four times a day and uses a particular company. She liked to keep cash in the house in a locked tin in case she needs money. Over the last few months she noticed money going missing, usually about £20 a time. She discussed it with her daughter and they decided to start counting the cash before each carer came. They felt that hundreds of pounds had gone missing.

“On January 8 Ms Hollingsworth was in the bedroom and £20 was missing afterwards. Another carer came that weekend but no money went missing. Tracey returned on January 11 and Maureen Tighe knew there was £40 in the tin. When she checked later that day £10 was missing.

“She felt she wanted proof so she set up a small memo type camera in the bedroom. She placed a further £30 in the tin. Tracey came and did the work and after she left there was £20 missing.

“On the footage she can be seen putting the box on the bed and putting money in her pocket.”

The court heard that the victim had known Tracey for two years and she was one of her better carers. The crimes made her feel sick and she lost faith in herself. She said she felt Tracey was better than that.

In mitigation, the court heard that Hollingsworth, who lives with her 16-year-old son, had been sacked from her job and was very remorseful for what she had done.

She was handed a 12 month community order with an 11 day rehabilitation requirement and 120 hours unpaid work. She will pay £195 in compensation and costs.

Chair of the bench, John Spon-Smith, called her actions a ‘serious breach of trust.’