Nurse from Northamptonshire struck off after stealing elderly resident’s painkillers

Browlands Nursing Home where one of thefts happened in 2011
Browlands Nursing Home where one of thefts happened in 2011
  • Landlady discovered two empty boxes of care home’s sleeping tablets in nurse’s waste bin
  • Police later found anxiety medication and painkillers
  • Nurse admitted stealling £40 in cash and 510 euros from people she lived with

A nurse has been struck off after taking money from two people she shared a house with and stealing medication from a Northamptonshire care home resident.

Charmaine Read, who worked as a bank nurse in the Daventry area, stole £40 pounds from a surgical registrar who she lived with at a bed and breakfast near the town and 510 euros from their landlady, a nursing tribunal heard.

This involves the theft of medication prescribed for a vulnerable residents

At around the same time, the summer of 2011, police found evidence in her bedroom that she had also stolen sleeping tablets (zopiclone), high-strength painkillers (dihydrocoedine) and medication to treat anxiety (diazepam).

She later admitted three thefts and possession drugs of class B (the dihydrocoedine) and class C (the diazepam) for which she was given a suspended 12-month prison sentence.

A tribunal, meeting to decide whether she was fit to be a nurse, has now decided to strike her off the register.

Malcolm Davidson, chair of the Nursing and Midwifery Council panel, wrote in his judgement: “Convictions in this case involve the theft of medication prescribed for a vulnerable residents and theft of money, on two separate occasions, belonging to people with whom she was living at the time.

“[All of these convictions] involve a serious breach of trust on her part.”

The panel heard evidence submitted during her 2013 court hearings that detailed how her thefts were discovered.

On July 31 2011, the registrar was in her car outside the bed and breakfast and spotted a figure, later established to have been Read, in her own bedroom. She then went to her room and found £40 was missing.

Less than a month later, her landlady discovered two empty boxes of sleeping tablets in Read’s waste bin, which were later found to have been taken on August 27, 2011 from Brownlands Nursing Home, in London Road, Daventry.

She contacted police who came to search the property and found the anxiety medication and painkillers. While they were there, the landlady also discovered 510 euros had been stolen and an identical sum was found in Read’s room.

During police interview, the panel heard, Read claimed that “her landlady had conspired with her friend, who also happens to work in the care home, and they planted the medication in her room.”

Although she later admitted the offences in court, Mr Davidson said there was no evidence that she “acknowledges the potential impact of those in her care whose medication she took.”

Striking her off for a period which, barring an appeal, will last five years he said: “As Mrs Read continues to present a risk of harm to patients, she is not suitable to remain on the register without restriction.”