Newport carer stole £900 from vulnerable adults

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A NEWPORT based carer stole £900 from vulnerable adults was suffering from anxiety and depression, a court heard.

Kirsty Phillips, 34, was sentenced to a 12 month supervision order at Cardiff Crown Court yesterday (tue). She had pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to two counts of theft and one count of ill treatment or wilful neglect of an adult who lacks capacity.

Phillips stole £300 and £600 from two different victims during her time as a mental health carer from 2012 to early 2013.

The court heard how Phillips had cared for six vulnerable women with mental health issues including personality disorder and psychosis at a supported living home in Newport. She was off sick in December 2012 from stress and had been admitted in January 2013 to the Prince Charles Hospital in Merthyr Tydfil due to the illness.

Andrew Jones, for the defence, said: "It is ironic perhaps your honour that Miss Phillips was in charge of looking after vulnerable adults when she was herself vulnerable. She has had a breakdown and continues to be seen by mental health services.

"She pleaded guilty and takes full responsibility of her behaviour. She is disgusted by her behaviour and is ashamed of her actions not only for herself but for her family."

The court heard that Phillips has since repaid the victims the sum of money which was taken. Mr Jones told the court that she suffered anxiety and depression and was currently being prescribed medication.

Judge Philip Richards, said: "You had an obligation to these people who were vulnerable. You were a vulnerable person yourself.

"It goes without saying the normal sentence would be a term of imprisonment. This is an extreme case.

"I am satisfied that you have suffered from your actions."

Phillips of Shingrig Road, Nelson, will be require supervision for the next 12 months and will have to carry out nine sessions with a provision officer.

Comments (14)

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8:23am Wed 20 Aug 14

Lord Palmerstone says...

A) she was sent to Crown Court because she was expected to get in excess of 6 months prison. What happened? Did CPS accept £900 instead of a higher figure because they hadn't the stomach for a trial?
B) Having had clinical depression myself it did not make me prone to dishonesty. Much the opposite since you believe terrible things are imminent. So I suspect what she initially suffered from was an inability to keep her fingers off others' property, not depression at all.
A) she was sent to Crown Court because she was expected to get in excess of 6 months prison. What happened? Did CPS accept £900 instead of a higher figure because they hadn't the stomach for a trial? B) Having had clinical depression myself it did not make me prone to dishonesty. Much the opposite since you believe terrible things are imminent. So I suspect what she initially suffered from was an inability to keep her fingers off others' property, not depression at all. Lord Palmerstone
  • Score: 24

10:36am Wed 20 Aug 14

mkaibear1 says...

Your experience of depression is not the same as anyone else's. Kleptomania is recognised to coexist with depression - it's easy to understand. There can be a "thrill" in "getting away" with taking something that's not yours and for a brain which is dopamine starved the thrill can become compulsive.

Regardless - why would you send this person to prison rather than give her the help she needs? She admitted it immediately, early guilty plea, has shown genuine remorse, there are mitigating factors and it spares the CPS the cost of a trial, it spares the taxpayer the cost of imprisonment and it will reduce the chance of her offending in future (a lot more than sending someone to prison does).

This is *exactly* the sort of sensible sentencing we need to see.
Your experience of depression is not the same as anyone else's. Kleptomania is recognised to coexist with depression - it's easy to understand. There can be a "thrill" in "getting away" with taking something that's not yours and for a brain which is dopamine starved the thrill can become compulsive. Regardless - why would you send this person to prison rather than give her the help she needs? She admitted it immediately, early guilty plea, has shown genuine remorse, there are mitigating factors and it spares the CPS the cost of a trial, it spares the taxpayer the cost of imprisonment and it will reduce the chance of her offending in future (a lot more than sending someone to prison does). This is *exactly* the sort of sensible sentencing we need to see. mkaibear1
  • Score: -8

11:46am Wed 20 Aug 14

Lord Palmerstone says...

Then all other depressives would be thieves. That appears not to be the case.
By definition all criminals are inadequate. Why then send any to prison?
Then all other depressives would be thieves. That appears not to be the case. By definition all criminals are inadequate. Why then send any to prison? Lord Palmerstone
  • Score: 3

11:57am Wed 20 Aug 14

mkaibear1 says...

Lord Palmerstone wrote:
Then all other depressives would be thieves. That appears not to be the case.
By definition all criminals are inadequate. Why then send any to prison?
>Then all other depressives would be thieves

For pity's sake did you actually *read* what I wrote?

NOT EVERYONE'S DEPRESSION IS THE SAME. People have different symptoms which means they need to be managed in different ways.

If someone is genuinely ill then they need to be helped not just chucked in jail. It's better for them, it's better for society, and it's better for the economy.

Determining whether or not someone is genuinely ill is best left to the medical experts and the judiciary, not some random commentator on an internet forum.
[quote][p][bold]Lord Palmerstone[/bold] wrote: Then all other depressives would be thieves. That appears not to be the case. By definition all criminals are inadequate. Why then send any to prison?[/p][/quote]>Then all other depressives would be thieves For pity's sake did you actually *read* what I wrote? NOT EVERYONE'S DEPRESSION IS THE SAME. People have different symptoms which means they need to be managed in different ways. If someone is genuinely ill then they need to be helped not just chucked in jail. It's better for them, it's better for society, and it's better for the economy. Determining whether or not someone is genuinely ill is best left to the medical experts and the judiciary, not some random commentator on an internet forum. mkaibear1
  • Score: -3

12:24pm Wed 20 Aug 14

Lord Palmerstone says...

"Your experience of depression is not the same as ANYONE else's"
Your words, which I did *read* How would you interpret that sentence?
"If someone is genuinely ill then they need to be helped not just chucked in jail. It's better for them, it's better for society, and it's better for the economy"
Then if I've committed an egregious crime I better set about persuading the psychiatrists that I'm ill, hadn't I? have you ever actually read a selection of psychiatric reports from several experts on the same person? I have; so maybe you're a bit more "random" than you'd like to believe yourself to be.
"Your experience of depression is not the same as ANYONE else's" Your words, which I did *read* How would you interpret that sentence? "If someone is genuinely ill then they need to be helped not just chucked in jail. It's better for them, it's better for society, and it's better for the economy" Then if I've committed an egregious crime I better set about persuading the psychiatrists that I'm ill, hadn't I? have you ever actually read a selection of psychiatric reports from several experts on the same person? I have; so maybe you're a bit more "random" than you'd like to believe yourself to be. Lord Palmerstone
  • Score: -2

12:50pm Wed 20 Aug 14

mkaibear1 says...

No, if you have to "persuade" people you're ill then you're probably not genuinely ill. And yes, I have read a selection of different psych reports on the same person, when they are genuinely ill you find that shockingly they tend to come to similar conclusions.

Some examples of how different people cope with depression;

My Dad - decided he was worthless, talked about ending his life, was persuaded that he had worth but was on antidepressants till he died.
My Brother - the only things that worked for him was to go down to the gym to pack on muscle... and cut himself on his arms and legs.
One friend - lost his temper a lot and smashed things.
Another friend - went completely into himself and lost all emotion whatsoever.
Another friend - ended up spending all his time playing his guitar, and keyboard, and recording melancholy songs.

Not everyone reacts in the same way.

Do you really think the best way to deal with someone with clinical depression is to bang them up in jail? Do you really think that will help society?
No, if you have to "persuade" people you're ill then you're probably not genuinely ill. And yes, I have read a selection of different psych reports on the same person, when they are genuinely ill you find that shockingly they tend to come to similar conclusions. Some examples of how different people cope with depression; My Dad - decided he was worthless, talked about ending his life, was persuaded that he had worth but was on antidepressants till he died. My Brother - the only things that worked for him was to go down to the gym to pack on muscle... and cut himself on his arms and legs. One friend - lost his temper a lot and smashed things. Another friend - went completely into himself and lost all emotion whatsoever. Another friend - ended up spending all his time playing his guitar, and keyboard, and recording melancholy songs. Not everyone reacts in the same way. Do you really think the best way to deal with someone with clinical depression is to bang them up in jail? Do you really think that will help society? mkaibear1
  • Score: 2

1:30pm Wed 20 Aug 14

Lord Palmerstone says...

I really think that those who nick from people they think won't say anything are suitable for gaol. It's easier to steal from a vulnerable old person, for example, than from me, because if you tried you don't know what my response would be. Therefore we have a judicial system to deter bad people.
I do not purport to know what would be "better for society "except to say it would undoubtedly be better for society if no bad people existed.
The reports I have read were frequently an illustration of a saying originating in those much wiser than us " quot homines tot sententiae" Perhaps you selected the reports which supported your world view?
I really think that those who nick from people they think won't say anything are suitable for gaol. It's easier to steal from a vulnerable old person, for example, than from me, because if you tried you don't know what my response would be. Therefore we have a judicial system to deter bad people. I do not purport to know what would be "better for society "except to say it would undoubtedly be better for society if no bad people existed. The reports I have read were frequently an illustration of a saying originating in those much wiser than us " quot homines tot sententiae" Perhaps you selected the reports which supported your world view? Lord Palmerstone
  • Score: 3

1:54pm Wed 20 Aug 14

mkaibear1 says...

Perhaps the person whose reports you were reading was not genuinely ill? The reports I read had differences of opinion but came to the same conclusions.

You are assuming a rationality of thought which is not present in some depression cases (for further examples see: suicide, self-harm, substance abuse, etc)

Again you are putting your own experiences above those of qualified medical examiners and judges.

Regardless, it comes back to the central truth of "what is judicial punishment for"?

I would argue it serves one main purpose - to protect society - in two facets; to ensure the guilty are adequately punished and to ensure there is a deterrent to further crime.

If this lady is genuinely ill then it's reasonable to reduce the level of sentence according to her diminished responsibility (for the same reason as we don't try children as adults). The judgement as to whether or not she is ill is not yours or.mine to make, it is a medical expert's opinion - and contrary to your unfounded insinuations it's very hard to get that kind of opinion (if it wasn't we'd see a lot more of these cases).

Under those circumstances a reduced punishment (losing job, suspended sentence, probation) is an acceptable punishment, and there is an adequate level of deterrence in there as well (as the judge said she was only spared a custodial sentence because of the exceptional mitigating circumstances)

On a purely rational and economic note (as a proper right-winger), sending someone to jail when it won't help them or society is a ludicrous waste of taxpayers money.
Perhaps the person whose reports you were reading was not genuinely ill? The reports I read had differences of opinion but came to the same conclusions. You are assuming a rationality of thought which is not present in some depression cases (for further examples see: suicide, self-harm, substance abuse, etc) Again you are putting your own experiences above those of qualified medical examiners and judges. Regardless, it comes back to the central truth of "what is judicial punishment for"? I would argue it serves one main purpose - to protect society - in two facets; to ensure the guilty are adequately punished and to ensure there is a deterrent to further crime. If this lady is genuinely ill then it's reasonable to reduce the level of sentence according to her diminished responsibility (for the same reason as we don't try children as adults). The judgement as to whether or not she is ill is not yours or.mine to make, it is a medical expert's opinion - and contrary to your unfounded insinuations it's very hard to get that kind of opinion (if it wasn't we'd see a lot more of these cases). Under those circumstances a reduced punishment (losing job, suspended sentence, probation) is an acceptable punishment, and there is an adequate level of deterrence in there as well (as the judge said she was only spared a custodial sentence because of the exceptional mitigating circumstances) On a purely rational and economic note (as a proper right-winger), sending someone to jail when it won't help them or society is a ludicrous waste of taxpayers money. mkaibear1
  • Score: -2

2:18pm Wed 20 Aug 14

Lord Palmerstone says...

She's 34 years old. We aren't told her antecedents. You may have noticed that she has actually done more than just theft. If someone starts this at 34 it is a very worrying sign.
I'd class giving £10,000,000,000 of taxpayers' money to foreign dictators and UN and False Charity Quangocrats in the Third World to live high on the hog as a heck of a waste of my tax pounds but you know what, I've no problem on a couple of quid being spent locking up 34 year olds who rough up and rip off vulnerable folk
She's 34 years old. We aren't told her antecedents. You may have noticed that she has actually done more than just theft. If someone starts this at 34 it is a very worrying sign. I'd class giving £10,000,000,000 of taxpayers' money to foreign dictators and UN and False Charity Quangocrats in the Third World to live high on the hog as a heck of a waste of my tax pounds but you know what, I've no problem on a couple of quid being spent locking up 34 year olds who rough up and rip off vulnerable folk Lord Palmerstone
  • Score: 0

2:30pm Wed 20 Aug 14

mkaibear1 says...

>we aren't told her antecendents

Interesting that you assume she's an inveterate criminal who needs to be locked up rather than someone who made some rash decisions based on a malfunctioning brain. Why is that?

If you read the other articles you see she was signed off for 5 weeks, was admitted to hospital and is still on medication - hardly the sign of a hardened criminal.

>She has actually done more than just theft.

Yes, she shouted at a resident. Hardly "roughing up vulnerable folk".
>we aren't told her antecendents Interesting that you assume she's an inveterate criminal who needs to be locked up rather than someone who made some rash decisions based on a malfunctioning brain. Why is that? If you read the other articles you see she was signed off for 5 weeks, was admitted to hospital and is still on medication - hardly the sign of a hardened criminal. >She has actually done more than just theft. Yes, she shouted at a resident. Hardly "roughing up vulnerable folk". mkaibear1
  • Score: -1

2:38pm Wed 20 Aug 14

Lord Palmerstone says...

You don't know whether she's a career crim but you know that the mistreatment was shouting. How so?
If it was a shout and 900 quid and she'd no pre-cons, what was she doing in Crown? I wait with baited breath.
You don't know whether she's a career crim but you know that the mistreatment was shouting. How so? If it was a shout and 900 quid and she'd no pre-cons, what was she doing in Crown? I wait with baited breath. Lord Palmerstone
  • Score: -1

4:13pm Wed 20 Aug 14

jimmysmith says...

these judges and defense barristers are a joke .the same pathetic excuses being offered in welsh courts every day and even the judges now making excuses for the crims .its beyond a laugh now
these judges and defense barristers are a joke .the same pathetic excuses being offered in welsh courts every day and even the judges now making excuses for the crims .its beyond a laugh now jimmysmith
  • Score: -1

5:36pm Wed 20 Aug 14

mkaibear1 says...

Seriously? You didn't bother to look at any other news sources before beginning your rant? 30s on Google gives;

http://www.walesonli
ne.co.uk/news/local-
news/she-lost-trust-
others---7639548
Seriously? You didn't bother to look at any other news sources before beginning your rant? 30s on Google gives; http://www.walesonli ne.co.uk/news/local- news/she-lost-trust- others---7639548 mkaibear1
  • Score: 3

5:54pm Wed 20 Aug 14

Lord Palmerstone says...

Right I have now ta. And she's no precons. If it was 900 quid at plea before venue then it was suitable for summary trial-12 months available. So neither you nor I know why she found herself in Crown, do we? Could be dysfunctional CPS I guess. If you think that suggesting gaol is a good idea is a "rant" I'd say you lead a pretty sheltered life.
Right I have now ta. And she's no precons. If it was 900 quid at plea before venue then it was suitable for summary trial-12 months available. So neither you nor I know why she found herself in Crown, do we? Could be dysfunctional CPS I guess. If you think that suggesting gaol is a good idea is a "rant" I'd say you lead a pretty sheltered life. Lord Palmerstone
  • Score: -2

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