'Justice has been served' - Family of Hartlepool pensioner react to nurse's jailing for fraud

The family a pensioner who was defrauded by one of his nurses while in hospital say justice has been served after she was jailed.

Saturday, 20th November 2021, 4:45 am
Updated Saturday, 20th November 2021, 11:59 am

She admitted taking 84-year-old Leslie Rushworth’s bank card while working on his ward at the University Hospital of North Tees.

She spent over £1,700 on herself while he was seriously ill.

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Leslie Rushworth.

Wallace, 40, of Challoner Road, ordered a bed costing £699, ordered wallpaper and items from Amazon and paid off a £900 personal loan.

Mr Rushworth, a grandfather of four from Seaton Carew, died just days after Wallace’s crimes in July last year which were uncovered by her sons Lee and Guy.

Guy told the Mail the conclusion of the court case has brought closure to his loved ones after 16 months.

But they say they are still waiting for answers from the hospital trust.

Leanne Wallace outside Teesside Magistrates Court, Middlesbrough. Picture by Frank Reid

Guy said: “It’s been a long time coming and think it will provide closure to us now and we can move on.

“We’re relieved that justice has been served, but answers need to now come from the hospital.

"Unfortunately, this wasn’t someone from outside that did this, it was a member of the hospital nursing team.”

He said it had been a sad case for all concerned adding: “I recognise it’s not going to be a comfortable experience for her for 14 months.

"However, I can’t allow myself to consider her remorse because she knew what she was doing at the time.”

The court heard Wallace’s actions caused significant hurt to his family who said they were unable to grieve the loss of their father properly by also having to confront what she had done.

A North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust spokesperson said: “The Trust is aware of the outcome of the recent case; our thoughts are with Mr Rushworth’s family at this very distressing time.

“The nurse is no longer employed by the Trust.

“We will be speaking to the family of Mr Rushworth to directly discuss their concerns.”

The judge rejected her claims she acted out of desperation.

Judge Howard Crowson said: "Desperate people seldom consider as one of their purchases a £700 bed.

"It looks more like greed I’m bound to say.

"It ruined their final hours with their father."

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