Thieving carer avoids jail


- Credit: Archant

A CARER who stole from elderly and vulnerable people he was trusted to look after has avoided being sent to prison.

David Pike was working for Brunel Care when he took sentimental items from those he was supposed to be caring for between 2010 and 2012.

The 49-year-old of Strode Road, Clevedon, was found guilty of five counts of theft on September 20 following a trial at Bristol Crown Court.

On January 21, he was handed a 12-month prison sentence, suspended for two years.

Pike was caught after a number of reports were made to Brunel Care about items going missing from clients’ homes.

Pike’s shift patterns meant he had access to all of the people mentioned and he was arrested in October 2012.

Among the items he is known to have taken were watches, a garnet and pearl ring, a napkin ring, a leather bound volume of Shakespeare, an engraved life-saving medal, a silver dollar coin, leather pouch, a Georgian coin and a pestle and mortar.

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All of the items, apart from the silver coin and the pestle and mortar, were recovered and returned to their owners.

Despite them being of relatively low monetary value, they were all said to have sentimental value.

Among the people Pike stole from was Vivian Fryer, an elderly former policeman who lives in Clevedon and suffers from dementia. The lifesaving medal taken from him had been presented to him during his police training.

Mr Fryer’s daughter, Susan Hind, said: “He trusted this person and now he won’t have any male carers in his home.

“You trust these people to look after and treat your parents with dignity as well as trust that they will do the best for them.”

During the hearing, Philip Warren, defending Pike, described him as mentally fragile and referred to a psychiatric report which said he was likely to self harm if sent to prison.

Sentencing Pike, Recorder Ignatius Hughes QC said: “Having been employed to look after elderly and vulnerable people you gained their trust and then stole from them in their own homes.

“On the evidence, you got rid of some of that stolen property by selling it.

“You have caused an enormous amount of distress and anguish.”

As well as the suspended sentence, Pike was also ordered to carry out 80 hours of unpaid work and to continue with the mental health treatment his already receiving.