York care home manager stole £20,000 from residents for holidays and shopping

Lauren Burgess
Lauren Burgess. Credit: North Yorkshire Police

A former care home manager who stole tens of thousands of pounds from residents for foreign holidays and online shopping has been jailed.

Lauren Burgess, 41, took money from vulnerable residents at Hawthorn House in Strensall, York,  over a three-and-a-half year period, York Crown Court heard.

Her crimes only came to light in 2020 when a relative was going through the finances of a family member who had died.

They noticed money had been taken from the bank account for holidays, Amazon purchases, Next Directory orders and payments to debt collectors and contacted North Yorkshire Police.

An audit carried out by the care home revealed a further three victims.

The investigation found that unusual purchases and withdrawals of cash had been made on the residents’ bank accounts between 2017 and 2020. In one case, a victim lost over £37,000 and another over £29,000.

Officers estimated that the victims had lost around £77,000, but an amount of £20,305 was agreed by the court. 

Burgess, of Kirklands, Strensall, pleaded guilty to four counts of theft.

She was jailed for 22 months.

Investigating officer Det Con Sophie Wilson, of York CID, said: “Lauren Burgess was in a position of trust and had privileged access to the accounts of vulnerable people in her care.

“Her job was to protect and care for those people but instead she took complete advantage of her position, using thousands of pounds of their money to selfishly fund her own lifestyle."

A proceeds of crime hearing has been scheduled to recover the amount of money Burgess has benefitted from through her criminal activity.