A cruel care assistant has been jailed after stealing jewellery belonging to elderly people - one suffering from dementia - who he was looking after.
Dad Vickram Iqbal carried out a number of “nasty” offences when he targeted the elderly at two different homes. He pleaded guilty to two charges of theft and one of fraud.
The 27-year-old was working at a home in January 2016 when he stole a bank card from an elderly man and obtained his pin number, Derby Crown Court, sitting at Southern Derbyshire Magistrates’ Court heard.
He withdrew £250 from a cash point but that aroused suspicion. CCTV was checked and he was arrested and interviewed by police.
Iqbal, of Bonds Close, Ilkeston, then “flatly denied” it was him on the footage. Recorder Rebecca Herbert said: “It’s not clear exactly what happened after that. You had to leave that residential home.”
He then joined the Canal Vue nursing home in Ilkeston in July 2016. Miss Herbert said: “It became apparent to the manager that there was a problem with thefts from residents, very vulnerable residents.
“Cash and jewellery and wedding rings were going missing. Some jewellery was taken directly from residents as they were wearing it. The manager took steps to find out who was taking it.”
The court heard the manager marked a £10 note which belonged to an elderly man at the home. The note went missing and staff were searched, however Iqbal denied it was him.
Miss Herbert said: “(Iqbal) made some effort to hide some jewellery and that belonged to a very elderly woman who suffered from dementia. He took that jewellery from her.”
The police were called in and Iqbal was arrested but he told officers another member of staff was responsible. He was later charged with the offences. Miss Herbert said a statement from the manager of the home was given to police in which she described how upset she was and how it had been a “breach of trust”.
A statement from the managing director of the home was also read out in court. It said: “While these thefts were going on everyone was under suspicion.”
Miss Herbert added: “You knew that these were old people who certainly would not know that you had stolen from them. That’s why you were able to do what you did.”
She said the rings and jewellery were “irreplaceable”. She said: “These were nasty and mean offences and were repeated. You are married with young twins but you should have been thinking of them when you were stealing from other people.”
In mitigation, barrister Stephen Kemp said the defendant had learning needs and no previous convictions.
He said Iqbal’s family income had been low and they had been “struggling considerably”.
Ms Herbert sentenced Iqbal to 20 months in jail.