Investigation & Surveillance

Another Carer Caught On Camera Stealing From Elderly Victim

Another carer has been prosecuted for theft this month, after being caught on camera taking money from a vulnerable elderly gentleman.

Jessie Downson, was filmed taking £493 from the 76-year-old, after suspicions had been raised and covert cameras installed in his home in Hartlepool. She had previously been suspended from working with the man just 2 years before the incident, after accompanying him to a bank to withdraw cash – something which is against the policy of her employers (Careline). It was finally arranged for covert cameras to be installed at the victim’s house when he complained about money going missing, which resulted in the video footage needed to convict her.

This case is particularly disturbing, as Downson was making an unauthorised visit at the time of the theft while dressed in a carers uniform. It appears that she donned the outfit purely to gain entry to her victim’s home for the purposes of stealing from him. Then she added insult to injury by denying the crime when she was arrested, and was only later forced to admit what she had done due to the overwhelming video evidence against her.

The judge is reported to have said to Downson in court: “This was a mean and despicable offence. You used your position as a carer to gain entry to the house, and no doubt hoped that any complaints by the victim would not be believed because of his declining mental health”. She was given 12 months supervision and a 13 month prison sentence, suspended for two years.

Unfortunately, it is often unclear exactly how many offences have been committed in circumstances like these, before cameras are eventually installed by a family member, private investigator or the police. Downson’s case is just the latest in many similar stories where crucial evidence leading to prosecution has only been attained after this decision was made.

Earlier in the year, carer Deborah Carrigan from Croydon was recorded with covert cameras, stealing money from a 92-year-old dementia patient’s purse on multiple occasions; Sharon Furner from Colchester was found guilty of theft at Ipswich Crown Court after being filmed by hidden cameras taking notes from an Alzheimer’s patient, aged 89; and Lisa Mitchell and her husband were discovered to have stolen a shocking £35,000 over a period of four years, from an 81-year-old woman in Dereham, after a surveillance camera hidden in a pen caught Mitchell in the act.

A detective working on the case said: “Over and above the financial impact of her crime is the emotional one, particularly when it appeared that Mitchell was searching for money instead of caring for the elderly lady.”

If you have any concerns about the safety of a loved one or doubts about those entrusted with their care, Ironside Associates Ltd. can assist with the installation and monitoring of covert cameras in any setting. Experienced operatives are able to deliver bespoke solutions, designed to offer complete peace of mind and reassurance to the client. Please contact us for free and confidential advice.