A domiciliary care worker from Gwynedd has been removed from the Register of Social Care Workers after a Social Care Wales hearing found her fitness to practise is currently impaired because of her criminal conviction for theft.
On 25 March 2020, Sarah Louise Moreland visited the home of a vulnerable elderly person who was receiving care and support from the company Ms Moreland worked for. But Ms Moreland had no reason for visiting the elderly person.
During her visit, Ms Moreland went to the vulnerable person’s bedroom and stole £40. The theft was caught on CCTV installed by the vulnerable person’s family.
Ms Moreland was convicted at Caernarfon Crown Court on 30 November 2020 of theft after pleading guilty and subsequently sentenced to 40 weeks in prison, suspended for 18 months.
Having heard the evidence, the panel decided that Ms Moreland’s fitness to practise was currently impaired because of her criminal conviction for theft.
Explaining its decision, the panel said: “This was clearly a very disturbing incident so far as [the vulnerable person] was concerned. It is the worst nightmare for anyone who has to employ carers to find that the social care worker they have trusted has abused that trust.
“The offence committed by Ms Moreland was very serious. It strikes at the heart of the confidence placed by the public in domiciliary care workers.
“This was clearly a premeditated offence because Ms Moreland had no cause to be in [the vulnerable person’s] home other than to remove money. The offence clearly calls into question her honesty, integrity and fitness to work in social care.
“Ms Moreland was said by her representative in the Crown Court to have been remorseful, but we note that she initially denied the theft and she has not put forward any evidence of insight, remorse or remediation within these proceedings.”
The panel decided to remove Ms Moreland from the Register, saying: “[T]here is a limited expression of remorse in the form of submissions made by Ms Moreland’s barrister during the Crown Court hearing.”
The panel continued: “We have decided that it is necessary in this case to impose a Removal Order. That is also proportionate to the seriousness of Ms Moreland’s offence.”
Ms Moreland was not present at the one-day remote hearing, which was held over Zoom last week.