Barely few minutes after the death of a 83 years old woman, a Birmingham Heartlands hospital worker in the UK has confessed to using the dead patient’s debit card to buy snacks from the vending machine.
The transactions are reported to have occurred 17 minutes after the victim died.
The health care worker, Ayesha Basharat, 23, appeared in Birmingham court, Wednesday on charges of having stolen the dead 83-year-old woman’s card at Heartlands Hospital in the city, ITV reported.
Doctors had recorded the woman’s time of death as 1:56 p.m. on Jan. 24 — but just 17 minutes later purchases were made on her card at the vending machine, police said.
Basharat allegedly made six £1 purchases using the contactless payment option and then made one more later in the evening.
She then tried again four days later, but by that time the card had already been canceled.
Police arrested Basharat during her shift and found the card still in her possession.
She initially claimed that she found the card on the floor and got it confused with her own, but authorities said the cards were different colors.
Basharat on Wednesday pleaded guilty to charges of theft and fraud by false representation. The health assistant was sentenced to two, five-month jail terms to run concurrently, suspended for 18 months.
Investigating officer DC Andrew Snowdon, from West Midlands Police CID, said: ‘This was an abhorrent breach of trust and distressing for the victim’s family.
‘They were having to come to terms with the death of a loved one from COVID when they found the bank card missing – and then of course the realisation that the card was taken by someone who should have been caring for her.
‘Our Hospital Liaison Officer worked closely with Heartlands security team to gather evidence in this case. I’d like to thank them and the victim’s family for their support during the investigation.
‘I wish the family all the best for the future and with this conviction hope they can move on from this upsetting episode.’
Not immediately clear is why or how the health worker chose to transgress her moral and legal boundaries and impinge on her patient…