A carer has been jailed after stealing bank cards from a cancer patient then going on a shopping spree as he lay dying in hospital.
Rebecca Ellis, 49, stole two debit cards from former police inspector Fred Bromley after he was admitted to hospital due to a dislocated hip relating to cancer in February 2020.
The care assistant tried a 'test purchase' of biscuits at an on-site WHSmith shop at Birmingham's Queen Elizabeth Hospital then went on to go on a spree, including buying £126 worth of clothes and handbags from Dorothy Perkins online.
Bromley's daughter noticed his cards had vanished and cancelled them, but not before Ellis had plundered money from his accounts.
The former West Midlands Police Inspector died, aged 66, shortly after the offences had taken place following his battle with hip cancer.
Ellis had denied theft and fraud but was found guilty at Birmingham Magistrates Court and jailed for nine months at the city’s crown court.
The court heard she stole the cards from Bromley’s overnight bag in the A&E department after he was admitted to hospital.
Ellis was arrested on 13 August at home in Smethwick, West Midlands, on suspicion of theft and fraud.
In a police interview, she refused to answer any of the 100-plus questions put to her, including how she used a Nationwide card despite never having held an account with the bank.
Detective Constable Mark Bates, of West Midlands Police, said: "This is a despicable and cowardly act bought about by greed and the total disregard for the suffering of Mr Bromley in his final weeks.
"Mr Bromley, on finding out he was a victim of fraud, was upset and disheartened as he trusted the staff at the QE Hospital.
"Mr Bromley died not long after the offence. His daughter Anna is quite rightly disgusted by the actions of Ms Ellis and welcomes the prosecution."
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