A mother who fleeced a vulnerable woman out of more than £28,000 to fund her gambling addiction, worked as a service leader for a company assisting vulnerable adults.
Chloe Campion, 33, was caring for a woman with Down Syndrome and dementia, and first had access to her bank card to make a purchase on her behalf, before going on to use it repeatedly over a four-month period, Minshull Street Crown Court in Manchester heard.
Campion, from Trafford used the card repeatedly over a four-month period and took out a total of £28,523.
She pleaded guilty to fraud by abuse of position and was handed a suspended prison sentence. She has repaid £17,000.
Amanda Johnson, prosecuting, earlier said the victim has ‘severe’ learning difficulties and relies on staff and supported accommodation at charity Imagine, Act and Succeed. Campion was a service leader.
‘The matter came to light after a letter was sent anonymously to the deputy head of the company stating the defendant was stealing money from a service user, also referring to the defendant’s gambling problem,’ Ms Johnson told the court.
Chloe Campion, 33, spent over £28,000 on a bank card of a vulnerable woman she was caring for, Minshull Street Crown Court heard
Campion used the bank card over a four-month period, having been given access to it just to make a purchase on behalf of the woman, to feed her gambling habit
‘An inquiry was conducted and the defendant immediately admitted what she had done when challenged about it and said she intended to repay everything she had taken.’
The investigation revealed that between December 2021 and April 2022, Campion used the woman’s bank card to buy something for her. It was connected to her PayPal account.
Instead of deleting the details from her computer, she took money to feed her gambling habit. Campion has no previous convictions.
She told the court suffered with PTSD following the birth of her first child in 2016. That – combined with her partner’s cancer diagnoses, the collapse of a café that assisted people with learning difficulties where she worked and the death of her grandfather – resulted in her developing a gambling addiction.
‘It was a difficult and dangerous addiction she struggled with,’ her barrister Hannah Forsyth said. ‘Addiction can be treated, it can and has since it was identified.’
She said Campion underwent cognitive behavioural therapy and attends weekly meetings at Gamblers Anonymous. Tearful Campion now has a new job.
The judge suspended Campion’s 12-month sentence for 18 months given that she had repaid some of the money and that she was the mother of young children
Recorder Imran Shafi KC told her: ‘She was in profound need of care, compassion and kindness from strangers. Rather than providing that care, compassion and support, you disgracefully chose to steal from her. A serious breach of trust.
‘The explanation is you acted as you did because of a gambling addiction, a pernicious effect of gambling. It is a cancer of society, not dissimilar to drugs.’
The judge said that due to her early guilty plea; the fact she had repaid some of the money; as she is the mother of young children; and as she has taken steps to rehabilitate, he was able to suspend a 12-month prison sentence for 18 months.
‘There is no doubt that you are a kind and caring person, which makes it more difficult to comprehend how you targeted her as you did,’ he added.
Campion, of Lime Avenue, Urmston, Trafford, was ordered to complete 30 days of rehabilitation activity requirements; attend women’s problem solving court; and abide by a three-month curfew between 10pm and 7am. She was also ordered to repay the outstanding amount of £11,657 at the rate of £400 a month.