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Black Country nursing home boss stole £93k from carer

Wolverhampton | News | Published:

A care assistant at a Black Country nursing home was fleeced out of more than £93,000 by his boss, a court heard.

Two days after getting the money Jayne Whitehouse - whose bank balance previously stood at £1.23p - bought Steven Wedge, her 49-year-old bankrupt boyfriend, a £29,995 Porsche 911 Carrera.

Steven Wedge leaves Wolverhampton Crown Court

She has pleaded guilty to stealing £93,374 from Royston Johns, a 45-year-old care assistant at Princess Lodge nursing home in Tipton where she was his manager.

Now Wedge - who had £8.28p in his bank account shortly before the crime - has been convicted of converting criminal property by having his Porsche purchased with stolen money.

The shameless couple went on a shopping spree in Chester with the stolen money the day before purchasing the luxury car and then blew more of the cash on foreign holidays and weekend breaks.

Victim Mr Johns suffered from mild learning difficulties and was targeted after he inherited £94,875 in a lump sum from the pension of his local authority employee brother who passed away on March 18 2013.

Whitehouse, aged 51, from Meredith Road, Wednesfield, discovered this when, following the death, she visited Mr Johns at the address he had shared with his brother.

Mr Johns later told police: "She went upstairs and was looking through my brother's things. She returned with a box of paper which she said she would take with her to sort out.

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"Sometime later she rang to say I was entitled to money from my brother's pension at work and she would accompany me to sort it out."

The pair, who had known each other for around four years, met officials of the council where the dead man had been employed and it was agreed - because of his learning difficulties - that the money should be paid into the Nationwide account of Whitehouse so she could 'manage' the cash and make monthly payments to him.

He received a single £1,500 payment but four months later there was just £5,659 left in the account.

Meanwhile his boss had bought herself a BMW Z4 as well as the Porsche and gone on several weekend breaks and foreign holidays.

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Mr Johns assumed Whitehouse was settling the bills as she paid with her debit card when really she was using money stolen from him.

He realised he had been ripped off when she repeatedly broke the agreement to pay his monthly allowance and revealed what had happened to her deputy while Whitehouse was off work in late August 2013.

Wedge also from Meredith Road - declared bankrupt in July 2010 with £140,000 debts - and Whitehouse were arrested at their home by police on October 17 2013.

He denied converting criminal property in buying the Porsche but was convicted by a jury after a Wolverhampton Crown Court trial.

He was granted bail and will be sentenced alongside Whitehouse at a later date.

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