A social worker who stole £19,000 from a vulnerable service user after she had a stroke has been jailed for two-and-a-half years.
Peter Tennant, 54, a temporary social worker with Northern General Hospital’s disabilities team in Sheffield, began caring for the 65-year-old when she was admitted to the hospital in 2007.
But when the woman was discharged and moved into residential care, staff at the home raised concerns about her finances.
It turned out that Tennant, of Long Eaton, Derbyshire, had stolen more than £19,000 from her bank account over 12 months, according to reports. He had been added as a signatory to the woman’s bank account for emergencies.
Tennant pleaded guilty at Sheffield Crown Court to two counts of fraud and one of wilful misconduct in public office.
A spokesperson for Sheffield Council, where Tennant was employed between September 2007 and March 2009, said he resigned when the allegations came to light.
The council decided to take disciplinary action against him and intends to carry out an internal safeguarding inquiry.
It has cleared the debt the service user accrued when Tennant was stealing from her and has put measures in place to manage her finances.
Eddie Sherwood, interim director of Sheffield’s adults’ services, said: “[Tennant’s] role was to serve and support a vulnerable woman at a critical time in her life, and what he did was a deplorable abuse of her trust.
“It is a gross insult to the majority of our highly professional social workers.”
The General Social Care Council has suspended Tennant pending an investigation into his professional conduct.