Mavis Mary Ngwerume, the registered manager of a residential care home for adults with severe learning disabilities, Divine Care Solutions in Reading, made numerous illicit withdrawals from a resident’s account who had been placed there by Slough Borough Council.
Between June 2009 and April 2015, she dishonestly and for the benefit of herself and others withdrew and stole money from his account totalling £16,551.
An investigation was sparked after a social worker from Slough Borough Council was reviewing his care package and noticed that he had spent far more money than was expected.
Her Honour Recorder S Campbell sentenced Ms Ngwreume on February 15, and referred to her crime as ‘despicable’. In sentencing the judge referred to Ngwerume offering no guilty plea, showing no remorse and attempting to blame both the victim and colleagues during her evidence.
Greed had led to Ngwerume taking small amounts initially in 2009, but over the years this had increased considerably as she became confident that no-one would notice. She had also been sending money abroad to her children, some of which had probably been taken from him.
Ngwerume will serve half her sentence and will be released on licence for the remainder. Enquiries will continue into Ngwerume’s financial circumstances with a view to confiscation under the proceeds of crime act 2002 in an effort to recover the loss suffered by the resident.
Cllr Natasa Pantelic, cabinet member for health and social care, said: “This is a terrible crime. As the manager of the care home, Ngwerume had the trust of a vulnerable resident and should have safeguarded their financial interests. To take advantage of someone in this way is completely wrong and has had a consequence as we’ve seen in the judge’s ruling.”
“I hope the investigation into her financial circumstances reveals that the victim can be reimbursed.”
Mavis Ngwerume, a Zimbabwe national, is listed as a director of LADK Ltd in Reading, a company specialising in residential care activities for people with learning difficulties, mental health and substance abuse, along with two other directors also of the surname Ngwerume.