A senior manager at a Camborne care home for extremely vulnerable people stole thousands of pounds from a young resident.

However David Turner, 64, of Chapel Walk Mews, North Parade, Camborne has avoided prison after the case took two and a half years to come to court.

Turner appeared at Truro Crown Court this morning (April 18) for sentencing after pleading guilty to two counts of theft whilst working at the supported living care home.

The court heard that Mr Turner came to the home from working at larger home run by the Valorum Care Group PLC.

One of the young men in his care used to give Mr Turner and other members of staff his debit card to allow them to buy him things he needed in the home.

Between April 13 and December 12, 2020 Mr Turner stole a total of £2,112.61 from him.

The thefts were not discovered until a year later when a member of the young man’s family checked his bank account and discovered the discrepancies.

The theft of £475.54 from Valorum Care Group PLC took place between September 1 and December 15, 2020 when £300 was taken from petty cash and promised to be returned, but it never was.

Another £175 was taken from the company bank card to pay for fuel, topping up his mobile phone, petrol and going on holiday.

The prosecution said Mr Turner had a high level of culpability as he was in a position of trust.

Turner’s defence barrister said the theft from the young man was “particularly unpleasant” and that his client was “very, very remorseful” about what he did.

“After having spent ten years blemish free at the bigger care home he then moved to the smaller care home where these offences took place, ” he said “When he started at the home he had found that staff morale was low and at first used his own money to spruce the place up buying furniture and a television. But when he then ran out of his own money he turned to criminality.

He said because of the length of time the case had taken to come to court, Turner had saved over £3,000 to pay back the money.

Judge said it was appalling that the case had taken so long to come to court when Turner had pleaded guilty in the first instance and no one could explain to him why.

But he said the circumstances of the offences were troubling.

“You were working as a senior manager at a care home for extremely vulnerable individuals,” he said. “These individuals and their families placed all their trust in you to look after those they love and care for and not to exploit them.

“Over a period of time you did exactly that. You exploited an extremely vulnerable young man who couldn’t access his money himself but provided his card for you and others access to it to draw out the small amounts that made his life more bearable. Instead you stole and did so on numerous occasions.”

He said one thing, and one thing only stopped him sending Turner to prison, and that was the extraordinary amount of time it had taken for the case to come to court.

Since 2020 he’d had the case hanging over him and he’s got a new job with and employer who had given him a glowing reference and he was a different person to the man he was then and had shown remorse for what he had done.

He was given 12 months in prison suspended for two years on both counts to run concurrently. He was also ordered to attend alcohol treatment for six months in the first 12 months of the sentence and 12 sessions of mental health treatment.

He was ordered to pay compensation of £475.54 to his former employer and £2,112.61 compensation to the young man, paid within seven days.

No costs were awarded.