Australia Carer with gambling problem pleads guilty to stealing cash from family of dementia patient

05:21  14 august  2020
05:21  14 august  2020 Source:   abc.net.au

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a man and a woman taking a selfie: Bronwyn Jones was employed to care for Bill George in 2018. (Supplied: Sue George.) © Provided by ABC Health Bronwyn Jones was employed to care for Bill George in 2018. (Supplied: Sue George.)

A dementia carer has pleaded guilty to stealing almost $20,000 from a family she was working for on the New South Wales Central Coast.

Bronwyn Jones was caught on security cameras stealing cash from handbags as well as food and alcohol.

Sue George was surrounded by family and friends at Gosford Local Court on Thursday and described the betrayal that left her family reeling.

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Shocking footage shows carer Graziella Avetti stealing £20,000 of jewellery from the home of an elderly dementia patient instead of looking after her. Ms Avetti she was caught on camera rummaging through a purse - before stuffing the cash in her BRA.

"It was gut wrenchingly shocking that someone you trust with your loved one to do that, who is being paid to come and assist, is unbelievably bad," she said.

"Your trust is totally crushed, you're in disbelief, I felt sick, I couldn't sleep."

Cameras capture theft

Sue George's husband Bill was diagnosed with early onset dementia in 2010.

They employed Bronwyn Jones in 2018 to help with his care.

But when Sue discovered more than $18,000 was missing from a locked drawer, she grew suspicious and installed cameras in her home.

"Day one, to my horror, it shows her going to my handbag which hangs on the doorknob in the office while I'm in the shower washing my husband's body," Sue George said.

A number of large deposits were made into Bronwyn Jones' bank account, which she claimed were from wins on the pokies.

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This footage shows the moment when a carer in Warrington is caught stealing from her charge. Claire Jones pleaded guilty to three counts of theft from Anita Dubique-Ashton, who suffers from multiple sclerosis, and was handed a suspended sentence.

She admitted to police she was getting help for a gambling problem, but officers say the money was likely to have been stolen cash.

Police charged the 51-year-old after reviewing the footage.

She did not appear in Gosford Local Court but pleaded guilty to five counts of larceny.

"It's been over six months of total anguish and hurt and pain however I'm being very blessed with the wonderful support of some caring people," Sue George said.

Greater protections needed

The local Federal MP for Dobell Emma McBride lost her father to dementia two years ago and believes there needs to be greater protection for families of the most vulnerable.

"It's really distressing, you put so much trust in someone, you welcome them into your own home to care for a loved one, particularly someone with dementia, they're really vulnerable," Ms McBride said.

"That trust has been breached, it's really distressing to think that has happened to somebody in our local community."

Bill George died three weeks ago at the age of 78.

Bronwyn Jones will be sentenced next month.

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