Agency social worker jailed for burglary in Wigan

A social worker who stole furniture and cash from the home of a pensioner while she was in hospital has been jailed for four years.

Margaret Heyes, 84, of Wigan, greater Manchester, was in hospital after a fall when her social worker, Tony Child, 63, of Carlisle, began to clear belongings out of her home without permission.

Wigan Today reported that Child, who was employed on a temporary contract by Wigan Council at the time, hired a van and paid one of Heyes’ neighbours to help with the clear-out.

Heyes came home to discover virtually all of her possessions, including items of jewellery, a flat-screen television and her late husband’s ashes, had gone, according to the newspaper.

Child was convicted of three charges of burglary at Liverpool Crown Court and sentenced to four years for each, to be served concurrently.

A spokeswoman for Wigan Council said Child was employed through an agency and the council was assured he had undergone the appropriate police checks.

“Once we realised what he was up to, we acted immediately in partnership with police and the Five Boroughs Partnership under adult safeguarding procedures,” she said.

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