Carer who stole from pensioner avoids jail
A care worker who stole from an elderly man in her care has avoided prison after she was caught on a hidden camera.
Clare Louise O'Hara (38), of Stockton, was convicted of preying on 79-year-old Patrick Murray.
The video footage showed O'Hara searching for the key to Mr Murray's safe in his room at the Stainton Way Care Home, Middlesbrough, before taking something out and putting it in her pocket.
The hidden camera had been placed by Mr Murray's family after they became suspicious about sums of money that were disappearing.
O'Hara initially denied the crime when she was challenged and said he had instructed her to take the money.
Mr Murray died two weeks before the trial began but prosecutors were able to use an earlier written statement he had made.
O'Hara was given a sentence of 18 weeks at Teesside Magistrates Court, suspended for two years after being found guilty at trial of theft. She was also ordered to pay an £80 victim surcharge and £770 costs.