A relentless police investigation helped expose a thief who stole thousands of pounds from a bedbound woman whose house she’d been paid to clean.
Tina Atkin repeatedly helped herself to cash from her vulnerable victim’s “rainy day fund” without her being any the wiser over the space of several months.
After originally being hired by the woman and her partner in July 2021, Atkin returned to the house once a week to clean – where she was paid cash in hand each time.
Her employers were unaware that the 49-year-old was actually pocketing much more than the £12 an hour agreed, after she discovered a box full of cash they were keeping in their bedroom.
Between August 2021 and March 2021, Atkin repeatedly took the couple’s money – helping the woman in her sixties out of bed so that she could be left alone to clean the room and help herself to cash.
In total she stole more than £13,000 throughout this period, with her employers only discovering something was wrong when they went to take money from the box and found most of the cash was missing.
An investigation led by the Newark Managed Incident Team (MIT) was launched at that point, which resulted in Atkin’s crimes coming to light when officers took a look at her finances.
A large number of unexplained transactions – totalling more than £10,000 – were ultimately found to have been made into her bank account at various points between August 2021 and March 2022.
Based on these discrepancies, Atkin, of Bilton Close, Balderton, was charged with theft.
After initially owning up to taking around £1,500 from the couple, she would eventually tell the whole truth and admitted to stealing the full amount – pleading guilty to theft in court in April 2023.
Atkin appeared before Nottingham Crown Court to be sentenced on 29 August, where she was jailed for eight months.
PC James Hague, of Nottinghamshire Police’s Newark MIT, said: “Atkin was invited into this couple’s home and was entrusted to return on a weekly basis to help clean their house.
“This trust was exemplified by Atkin being permitted by the victim – a woman in her sixties with health concerns – to help her get to and from her bed while she cleaned her bedroom.
“It is sad to think then that, while this was happening, Atkin was knowingly betraying this confidence by repeatedly stealing cash that added up to thousands of pounds from her employers without their knowledge.
“Her actions were heartless and completely reprehensible, so it is only right that she now faces the consequences for what she did through an immediate prison sentence.”
Sergeant Rob Harrison, of the Newark and Sherwood neighbourhood policing team, added: “Atkin abused a position of trust by deciding to do what she did, so we’re pleased to see that she has now been punished.
“Thanks to an extensive investigation led by PC Hague and the Newark MIT, they were able to identify a number of unexplained discrepancies in Atkin’s financial records that pointed towards her being involved in this theft.
“This work ultimately created a strong enough case that Atkin was left with no option but to admit to everything she’d done, so they should be very proud of the job they did in helping bring some justice for the victims of this crime.”