Care assistant who stole cards from dying patient and bought biscuits is jailed

A care assistant has been jailed for stealing bank cards from a dying patient - before using them to buy biscuits at the same hospital.

Caught on camera: Ellis using the stolen bank card to buy biscuits. Photo: West Midlands Police
Caught on camera: Ellis using the stolen bank card to buy biscuits. Photo: West Midlands Police

Rebecca Ellis from Smethwick stole two debit cards from cancer patient Fred Bromley when he was admitted to Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham on February 20 last year.

She used one of the contactless cards to buy biscuits at an on-site WHSmith shop within the QE a few hours later, then used them at various stores, as well as ordering £126 worth of clothes from Dorothy Perkins online.

Mr Bromley’s daughter noticed the cards had vanished and cancelled them on February 24, but not before Ellis had taken a large amount of money from her dad’s accounts.

Birmingham Magistrates Court heard Ellis stole them from Mr Bromley’s overnight bag in the A&E department after he was admitted to hospital due to a cancerous hip joint dislocating.

West Midlands Police said it had examined hospital CCTV showing the 49-year-old using a blue Nationwide Bank card to make a £2.70 WHSmith purchase for a tub of biscuits.

Other enquiries revealed Ellis used one of Mr Bromley’s cards on the Dorothy Perkins website buying clothes in her dress size and handbags.

Elllis was arrested on August 13 from her home address in Smethwick.

In interview, she refused to answer any of the 100-plus questions put to her, including how she’d used a Nationwide card despite never having held an account with the bank.

Ellis denied theft and fraud, but was found guilty at Birmingham Magistrates Court and jailed for nine months at the city’s crown court on Thursday, September 23.

Mr Bromley, a former West Midlands Police Inspector, passed away not long after the offences had taken place aged 66 following his battle with hip cancer.

Investigating officer DC Mark Bates from Force CID 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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