Reminder to the police: fraud is a crime, which means the offender must be prosecuted

Anger of dying father’s family after carer’s theft was alerted

David and Ellen Stonehouse

If only all of these crimes were so easy to solve.

Carer Kerry Collinson stole two checks from a dying man’s home, took a check for £200 and cashed it.

The evidence of her guilt was as clear as her name on the check, but after officers finally came to interview her, they decided she deserved a warning. Looks like they didn’t consider such an obvious case of fraud an offense.

Collinson’s victims were Ellen Stonehouse and her 74-year-old husband David. He suffers from dementia and has returned home from the hospital to Hull to spend his last days with his family in familiar surroundings.

“We had never had a carer before but Mom was devastated so we agreed to have a carer,” his daughter Katie said.

“We put Dad’s hospital bed in the back room downstairs, which is where this caregiver lives, and my mother and daughter are sleeping upstairs.

“I live next door and in the morning the caregiver told how she took care of him and made him comfortable.”

David died two days later. No one discovered anything that hadn’t been donated until Ellen noticed an unexplained £200 debt on her bank statement.

Katie said: “We contacted the bank and they told us the name of the person who cashed the check.

“We didn’t recognize ‘Kerry Collinson’ at first and then remembered that it was the carer.

“She stole two checks and got one for £200.

“My dad couldn’t talk or move and she was looking at our belongings while she wanted to take care of him.”

What follows is never about money for the family, but about making sure someone who has horribly abused a position of trust gets the justice they deserve.

With such a clear crime, the family thinks that the police will quickly take action. They were wrong.

“Police are useless, we have to push things,” Katie said.

“They eventually caught her for questioning but only after we persisted. After first denying everything, she admitted to stealing the check.

“Then we got a letter from the police saying they wouldn’t charge her, we were completely fuming. I complained and we were told it was a mistake, they said they would not press charges in these cases if the family agreed to it.

“We don’t agree with that, we’re far from OK, we’ve told them we want her to be charged.

“They eventually apologized and charged her.”

The final insult came when they heard Collinson, 35, was found guilty of fraud and theft and sentenced to 150 hours of community service.

“The police said they would let us know when we would go to court because we wanted to be there but they never did,” said Katie, 43. “The letter from Victim Assistance didn’t even tell us the sentence – we had to ring to find out.

“No one seemed to mind the impact on our family after losing our dad, which made things a lot worse.

“Nothing would have happened, the police wouldn’t have bothered, had I not pursued this. It has been consumed all since this happened in September.

“The way they’ve handled this does nothing to enhance our confidence in their dealings with crime, it has the opposite effect.”

Charity organization Hourglassformerly known as the Elder Abuse Act, believes this case is sadly typical of a culture in which the elderly often experience “the worst outcome of justice”.

Director of Policy Veronica Gray said: “The 2019 report ‘The Poor Relation’ highlights the lack of any centralized and cohesive strategy for police and Crown Prosecution Service to deal with victims of crime. the age of the criminal”.

“The elderly are often abused because they are in vulnerable situations and their needs and experiences must be acknowledged in the outcome of cases.

“This particular case rates us as a very lenient sentence for someone who used their position of authority to financially abuse someone in the last days of their life.

“We’d love to see more targeted training for frontline services, from Police to NHS, so frontline staff can understand and respond appropriately to special circumstances involving adults. age.”

Humberside Police said they put victims “at the heart of everything we do”.

A spokesperson said: “Following contact with the family in this case, Humberside Police have conducted a full review of the findings and the relevant investigation.

“This has resulted in Ms. Collinson receiving a summons to court to face charges of theft and fraud by false representation. She appeared at Hull Magistrates Court in connection with the matter. “ Reminder to the police: fraud is a crime, which means the offender must be prosecuted

Fry Electronics Team

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