A FORMER health care worker yesterday admitted theft of more than £13,000 from the Aneurin Bevan Health Board after an administrative error led to her receiving nearly double her wages for two years.
On the second day of her trial at Cardiff Crown Court, Ann Barnes, 47, changed her plea to guilty and offered to write a cheque for the money she had wrongly received.
The court had heard that Barnes, of Prince Andrew Road, Crumlin, was a part-time call handler for the out-of-hours GP service, paid £612 a month for a 19.5 hour week.
In February 2009 she was promoted to the role of assistant senior operational co-ordinator on £822 a month.
But, prosecutor Nicholas Gedge said, Barnes continued getting both wages until January 2011, receiving £13,326.38p she wasn’t entitled to.
When a member of pay-roll staff queried this with her in April 2009, she explained both wages by wrongly claiming she had two jobs in the organisation.
Her line manager Ann Poyner told the court that Barnes had been granted compassionate leave in 2006 amid concerns she would lose her house because of financial difficulties.
But, Ms Poyner said, she was shocked when Barnes later turned down an extra shift, saying she couldn’t work it as she was going for dinner and then to look at buying a hot tub.
She also began talking about building an extension to her house, a holiday, and buying an expensive ball gown for her daughter’s graduation.
Ms Poyner contacted pay-roll after becoming suspicious.
Barnes yesterday admitted theft, offering to pay the money back to the Aneurin Bevan Health Board. Judge Stephen Hopkins said: “You were highly thought of in the organisation and successfully applied for promotion.
“Initially, the first double payment was an administration error.
“But, your vice was continuing to accept more than one pay cheque each month even though it was not at your initiation or instigation.”
Judge Hopkins warned her that all options for sentencing remain open.
She will be sentenced on February 22.