After just losing a loved one, a family had to watch a hospital worker show absolutely no sensitivity during their time of loss by stealing from the deceased. Just minutes after the 83-year-old patient passed away in the hospital, the healthcare assistant unabashedly used her bank card to treat herself to items from the hospital’s vending machine.
The pensioner lost her life and a doctor declared that her time of death was 1:56 pm. About 17 minutes later, the healthcare assistant named Ayesha Basharat used the elderly woman’s card and made several purchases.
While working in a COVID ward at the Heartlands Hospital in Birmingham, UK, Ayesha made six purchases of around $1.42 (£1) each from the vending machine with the deceased woman’s card. After buying herself some chips, sweets, and fizzy drinks, Ayesha walked away from the vending machine, only to return later that evening and buy herself more. She bought another $1.42 (£1) item by using the elderly patient’s card on the same day she breathed her last.
The next time Ayesha reported to work was four days after stealing from the late pensioner. That day, on January 28, she tried to use the bank card again. However, her attempts failed because by then, the bank card had been canceled. Nevertheless, the police managed to arrest Ayesha while she was on her shift, and they found her still carrying around the elderly woman’s card.
“Basharat, from Farm Road, Birmingham initially claimed she found it on the floor and got it ‘muddled up’ with her own card when paying,” said a press release that was put out by the West Midlands Police. “However, they were different colors and the court heard how she ignored hospital protocol around patient lost property.”
On June 9, 23-year-old Ayesha admitted to theft and fraud in connection with the incident and was given a suspended prison sentence.
“She went on to admit theft and fraud by false representation and at Birmingham Crown Court on 9 June she was given two five-month jail terms to run concurrently, both suspended for 18 months,” the police report went on to say.
Following the incident, Investigating officer Detective Constable Andrew Snowdon acknowledged how the incident added more distress to the victim’s family during an already difficult time.
“This was an abhorrent breach of trust and distressing for the victim’s family,” the officer said. “They were having to come to terms with the death of a loved one from COVID when they found the bank card missing – and then of course the realization that the card was taken by someone who should have been caring for her.”
In his statement, Snowdon went on to say, “Our Hospital Liaison Officer worked closely with Heartlands security team to gather evidence in this case. I’d like to thank them and the victim’s family for their support during the investigation. I wish the family all the best for the future and with this conviction hope they can move on from this upsetting episode.”