Hospital worker used dead patient’s bank card to buy sweets and fizzy drinks

Police said the victim’s family have been left feeling distressed after the “abhorrent breach of trust”

A healthcare assistant working on a Covid ward has been convicted for using a dead patient’s bank card at a hospital vending machine.

Ayesha Basharat took the 83-year-old woman’s card after she passed away at Heartlands Hospital on 24 January to buy crisps, snacks and fizzy drinks.

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A doctor recorded her time of death at 1.56pm – but just 17 minutes later Basharat used the card to make six £1 purchases using the vending machine’s contactless touch pad.

Basharat, pictured using the stolen bank card at a vending machine, has been given a suspended jail sentence at court (West Midlands Police)
Basharat, pictured using the stolen bank card at a vending machine, has been given a suspended jail sentence at court (West Midlands Police)

The 23-year-old made another one pound purchase that evening before the 23-year-old tried again twice when she next returned to work on 28 January.

By that time the card had been cancelled and Basharat was arrested during her shift on Ward One - still in possession of the victim’s card.

‘Muddled up’

Basharat, from Farm Road, Birmingham, initially claimed she found it on the floor and got it “muddled up” with her own card when paying.

However, the cards were different colours and the court heard how she ignored hospital protocol around patient lost property.

She went on to admit theft and fraud by false representation and at Birmingham Crown Court on 9 June.

She was given two five-month jail terms to run concurrently, both suspended for 18 months.

‘Upsetting episode’

Investigating officer DC Andrew Snowdon from our Force CID said: “This was an abhorrent breach of trust and distressing for the victim’s family.

“They were having to come to terms with the death of a loved one from Covid when they found the bank card missing – and then of course the realisation that the card was taken by someone who should have been caring for her.

“Our hospital liaison officer worked closely with Heartlands security team to gather evidence in this case. I’d like to thank them and the victim’s family for their support during the investigation.

“I wish the family all the best for the future and with this conviction hope they can move on from this upsetting episode.”