A 20-year-old bank auxiliary nurse has been given 140 hours of community service so she can repay the community after she stole nearly £5,000 from the public purse.
Between 22 July 2017 and 5 February 2018, Louise Ferbrache-Mapp put in time sheets for an extra 368 hours of work on Le Marchant Ward at the Princess Elizabeth Hospital, forging her seniors' signatures to do so.
In total, she was paid £4,734.30 by Health & Social Care for unworked time over the course of 25 different time sheet entries.
Ferbrache-Mapp's role was initially to shadow other members of staff on the ward, but her defence advocate, Sarah Morgan, told Judge Graeme McKerrell that her client had felt she had been given too much responsibility and was not enjoying the work. In an effort to not let her parents down, Ferbrache-Mapp was only pretending to go to work, but still claiming her wages so she could pay her board.
Advocate Morgan also said her client could be impulsive and a slow learner thanks to some underlying problems she faced.
The defendant was working as an auxiliary bank nurse, predominantly on Le Marchant Ward.
While Judge McKerrell accepted the defendant was in a difficult position, he said it was no excuse for committing a "sophisticated" crime like this, where she had forged two senior staff nurse's signatures on multiple occasions.
Referring to the mitigation Advocate Morgan put across, he said: "I accept that you are a slow learner and can act impulsively, but there is no dispute that your actions here were sophisticated, and one could even say bold, because I am told on one occasion you called up HR to ask why you hadn't been paid.
"You knew what you were doing, and what you did was defraud the public purse of nearly £5,000. That being said, I do not minimise all that I have been told and all that I have read about you."
A spokesperson for Health & Social Care has issued a statement on Ferbrache-Mapp's "clearly completely unacceptable" behaviour: "This individual’s ongoing attempts to defraud Health & Social Care of thousands of pounds was discovered as a result of an internal investigation following suspicions about her conduct. Criminality by our staff is clearly completely unacceptable, and as shown here, we will not hesitate to involve the police when it is uncovered."
But Ferbrache-Mapp told the court she has already started saving to pay back HSC for what she has done - an agreement has already been struck between the defendant and her father and the Committee to allow her to pay it off over a period of time without the need for a compensation order. So while Judge McKerrell did not impose a court compensation order, he did ask Ferbrache-Mapp to ensure she did pay the money she owed. In addition to that, he said she would repay the public purse by completing 140 hours of Community Service. And that sentence was given as a direct alternative to five months of youth detention.
"This was an extraordinarily stupid set of offences because, in time, you would have been caught. This is not a let off, it is a significant commitment on your part to repay the public," Judge McKerrell concluded.
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