- Chloe Campion used woman’s bank card over four months, a judge was told
A mother who worked as a charity leader assisting vulnerable adults stole more than £28,000 from a woman she was caring for to fund her gambling addiction.
Chloe Campion, 33, used her client Joan Anderson’s bank card over a four-month period, taking £28,523 in total from the woman, who has Down’s Syndrome and dementia.
Her victim has ‘severe’ learning difficulties and relies on staff and supported accommodation at Leigh-based charity Imagine, Act and Succeed, where Campion is a service leader.
Campion’s crime only came to light after an anonymous letter was sent to the charity’s management, alleging she was stealing money for her gambling addiction.
Campion, from Trafford, Greater Manchester, pleaded guilty to fraud by abuse of position and was handed a suspended prison sentence at Manchester’s Minshull Street Crown Court.
She has been ordered to repay £17,000.
Mother of two Campion, from Urmston, who now works for a recruitment firm, faced up to three years jail under sentencing guidelines after she admitted fraud by abuse of position.
Prosecutor Amanda Johnson told the court: ‘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.
‘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.
‘But after she was interviewed by police as a voluntary attendee there were a couple of further transactions that took place using Mrs Anderson’ account. She indicated she had been suffering with her her mental health.
‘This was an abuse of a position of trust and activity conducted over a sustained period of time and this was a vulnerable victim.’
The investigation revealed that between December 2021 and May 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.
The court heard that she had paid back £17,088.
Campion’s mitigation defence counsel, Hannah Forsyth, told the court she 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.
She said: ‘It was a difficult and dangerous addiction she struggled with. But significantly it is an addiction which can be treated and she has since identified it and is undergoing sessions for cognitive behavioural therapy and attending weekly meetings at Gamblers Anonymous which she describes as a positive influence on her life.
‘She is also seeking further assistance for her PTSD and is medicated for her anxiety.
‘Miss Campion requires assistance so she can focus on managing the stresses and impulses which led her to developing this addiction. Her partner is still undergoing scans and she has two children aged six and four with one due to be assessed for autism.
‘They would be impacted if their mum was sent to custody. She is more than willing to pay all the money back.’
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.