Sheffield woman could face jail term after stealing food from 97-year-old man

Gordon Alexander, aged 97, was a resident at Leahyrst care home before he died
Gordon Alexander, aged 97, was a resident at Leahyrst care home before he died

A former care worker could face a jail term after admitting stealing food from a 97-year-old man.

Samantha Leigh Briggs, aged 33, from Sheffield, who worked at Leahyrst care home in Upperthorpe, pleaded guilty to stealing food from resident Gordon Alexander.

Mr Alexander died of pneumonia two months after the incident - but an inquest found the incident was not linked to his death.

A South Yorkshire Police spokesman said: “Ms Briggs has been charged with theft of food from the residential home.

“She pleaded guilty at Sheffield Magistrates’ Court and will be sentenced next week.”

Mr Alexander died last October, two months after concerns were raised by police to Leahyrst - run by Silver Health Care - Sheffield Council and the Care Quality Commission.

The Star understands the care home has since worked with the CQC to raise standards after the watchdog launched an investigation following Mr Alexander’s death. The home was rated ‘inadequate’ by inspectors in March, but a more recent check in June showed the care home had improved.

Sheffield coroner Christopher Dorries said the incident did not cause Mr Alexander’s death and the matters were unrelated.

“I have to be careful because this is a matter for the court,” he told the inquest. “What I can say is it’s deeply unfortunate. However I couldn’t say there is a direct relevance in Mr Alexander’s death two months later.”

Viduet Ruparelia, a social worker at the council, told the court: “Concerns were raised to me in regards to Mr Alexander’s care at Leahyrst care home, which was captured on camera footage.”

The home implemented a protection plan ‘as soon as they were made aware’.

Mr Alexander was prescribed with antibiotics for his chest infection but it was unclear if the 97-year-old had taken any before his death, because of his inability to swallow, the court heard.

Mr Dorries recorded a narrative conclusion, saying the pensioner died of a ‘significant chest condition against a background of other natural diseases’.

A spokesman for Leahyrst said they ‘did not wish to add anything on the back of the inquest’, but that a statement would be issued next week.