Marcia Louise Carrod underwent training before becoming a foster mother and taught how to handle the money.
Taking advantage of the underprivileged or vulnerable people cannot be justified and should be punished. However, one woman got away with her crime despite being dishonest and taking advantage of a teenager.
According to Wales Online, Marcia Louise Carrod, a foster mum from Ammanford, west Wales, spent thousands of pounds from the bank account of a teenager with learning disabilities. The woman spent up to £12,000 ($15,775) for her personal use such as home decorations, restaurants, car finance, and supermarket shopping. However, the judge at Swansea Crown Court only ordered to pay back of £5 ($6) for all the money she stole.
The teenager was put under the care of the woman after she suffered from a range of learning disabilities such as global developmental delay and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, according to Metro. Carrod was in charge of the teen's finances and even took care of the bank accounts to which her benefits were paid. Before she took up the role, the woman was given training.
According to Wales Online, Carrod was told where she was supposed to use the money and was told of what she could not do with the money. Sophie Hill, the prosecutor claimed that the woman ignored the instructions and splurged the money.
She stated, "Despite this training, Carrod used thousands of pounds of the teenager’s money for her own and her family’s purposes," according to Metro. Over the two years of taking care of the teen, the woman spent over £200($260) on petrol, £600($780) in supermarkets, more than £2,000($2620) in cash withdrawals, over £500($650) on restaurant meals and about £400($520) on car finance. However, the details of all the expenditure could not be tracked as there were no records kept to prove the transactions and payments made.
Meanwhile, her partner, Richard was also charged for the crime. However, the prosecution did not put forward any evidence against the man. Carrod, on the other hand, pleaded guilty. Her lawyer, David Singh said there had been an "an appalling breach of trust" and even admitted that the money was mismanaged. He also stated that the majority of the transactions should have been avoided.
Besides, he argued the woman had lost her job and would not be able to get roles in fostering or any other care homes. Meanwhile, Judge Paul Thomas QC stated it was her responsibility to look out for the teen and her best interest.
"All in all your conduct was greedy and cynically callous. You stand before the court as a thoroughly dishonest woman who took advantage of that young woman for your own ends," according to Wales Online.
On hearing, she did not have any assets, the court asked her to pay back only pay back £5 ($6). She was also given a time period of 28 days to make the payment. The judge also sentenced her to eight months in prison and even asked her to complete 240 hours of unpaid work and a rehabilitation program.