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Former care home manager Amy Morris, 29, claims innocence

By Gloucestershire Echo  |  Posted: January 25, 2013

Gloucester Crown Court

A FORMER care home manager accused of fraud told a jury that missing rota sheets would prove her innocence if they could be found.

Amy Morris, 29, is alleged to have claimed payment for 44 nights shifts she did not work at the Chargrove Lane Care Home in Shurdington.

But in evidence Morris said she had actually worked every one of the shifts she claimed for.

"The rotas would all show that I worked on the nights I claimed I worked," she told the Gloucester Crown Court jury, which has heard the relevant sheets cannot be found.

Mrs Morris, of Midsummer Walk, Hempsted, Gloucester, pleaded not guilty to 19 charges of fraud by falsely claiming she worked at the home on night shifts between July 2010 and October 2011.

It is alleged that she defrauded the care home firm of about £5,700.

The jury heard that when she was arrested she told police the system for noting down who had worked night shifts must have gone wrong. She denied that she had obtained any money fraudulently. She also suggested she had "possibly been set up" by others within the company.

She told the jury she was responsible for all aspects of running the home, which had 26 residents of varying degrees of disability, and she did some care work as well.

Asked why she would be working night shifts regularly when she was a manager, she said it was because it was hard to recruit carer staff to do 11-hour nights.

She told the jury she worked beneath a line manager, Alison Andrews, and a general manager, Deborah Smith.

Rotas showing who had worked during the preceding week would be sent in by her every Monday to head office for payment, she said.

She related how a Quality Care Commission inspection of the home on August 2, 2011, led ultimately to her quitting her job. It was after she had left the firm and disputed the final pay she received that the alleged offences came to light.

Mrs Morris said she called her manager to tell her inspectors had arrived and she expected someone from head office to arrive to support her.

But no one came.

The next day, she said, Ms Andrews arrived at the home to do an audit and when she heard about the inspection she claimed Mrs Morris had not notified them of it. Ms Andrews behaved in an "inappropriate and unprofessional way" towards her, she said.

The trial continues.

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