Gambling addict care home boss Imran Ahmed stole widow's £100,000 savings

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By sarahlnewall | Tuesday, January 15, 2013, 10:27

By Rebecca Sherdley

A CARE home manager stole more than £100,000 from an elderly widow and spent it on gambling.

Imran Ahmed was jailed for three years at Nottingham Crown Court on Friday after admitting stealing from a current account belonging to Audrey Green, a resident at the Lilac House Care Home in Beeston, which he managed.

Ahmed, 39, used the money to fund "a double life" of gambling, the court heard.

The father-of-two lost hundreds of pounds at casinos and at the races but his family were unaware of his gambling addiction.

He made withdrawals from cash machines using Mrs Green's debit card which was kept, along with her PIN, in a safe at the home, owned by his family.

Esther Harrison, prosecuting, said Ahmed would use the card to take out between £150 and £300 at a time and sometimes make more than one withdrawal a day.

Ahmed also stole Mrs Green's cheque book, stealing £58,000 in cash and £43,000 in cheques over five years.

The theft only came to light when the care home closed in 2011. Mrs Green, now aged 80, was a "vulnerable woman" who "lacked confidence and was not financially aware," the court was told.

But Ahmed, of Orchard Cottage, Bestwood Park, was attracted by the thrill of the gambling lifestyle and being "with the high rollers".

Judge Michael Stokes sentenced him to three years in prison, of which he will serve half before being eligible for release, calling his behaviour as "gross a breach of trust as it is possible to imagine".

He added: "Elderly vulnerable people are regrettably far too often the target of fraudsmen and the court has got to make it plain that anyone who takes part in this deliberate behaviour will be severely punished.

"You had an extensive and long-standing gambling addiction which a report tells me has been the driver of your offending.

"Doubtless it was but that in reality it amounts to little in mitigation."

Ahmed stole the money between January 2005 and December 2011.

Philip Bown, for Ahmed, said: "This was a man being driven to distraction by the pathological addiction to gambling. It was running his life."

After being told there was insufficient money in Mrs Green's account, her friends Janet and Paul Boothroyd, of Stapleford, looked at her bank statements and noticed the money had been taken.

After the sentencing, Mrs Boothroyd said: "I'm a bit disappointed with three years. Whether he stole the money for gambling or whatever it doesn't matter. The fact of the matter remains that he stole money from a vulnerable, old woman. She's a lovely woman and didn't deserve anything like this to happen to her."

She said Barclays had returned £96,000 to Mrs Green, now living in Attenborough.

      

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