A nurse stole bank details from her vulnerable patients and used them to go on online shopping sprees at stores such as River Island and boohoo.

Stacey Marie Banfield would treat people with dementia and mental health issues when she abused her position of trust.

Swansea Crown Court heard Banfield was working on Ward G at Neath Port Talbot Hospital at the time of the incidents.

Helen Randall, prosecuting, said relatives of two patients on the ward noticed suspicious online transactions on bank accounts in the summer of 2017 and contacted the authorities, reports Wales Online .

Police made inquiries with the online retailers concerned and found the purchased items had been delivered to 31-year-old Banfield’s address. The auxiliary nurse was arrested and interviewed and admitted taking bank details from the patients.

Miss Randall said the defendant told officers she had been “living well beyond her means at the time”. In total Banfield spent some £589 money from her victims – an 88-year-old man and a 75-year-old woman.

The prosecutor said both victims were “particularly vulnerable” due to their circumstances.

Banfield, of Port Talbot, had previously pleaded guilty to two counts of fraud by false representation when she appeared in the dock for sentencing. The court heard she has no previous concivtions.

Hannah George, for Banfield, said he defendant had worked for the NHS for 10 years prior to the incident and had been “dedicated to those she cared for”.

She said her client had been “deep in debt” at the time and had turned to “numerous” payday loans in order to make ends meet.

The barrister said Banfield was “deeply ashamed” about her behaviour and was remorseful for what she had done. She added that the defendant had turned to the chaplain of her local church for support following her arrest.

Judge Keith Thomas told Banfield she had taken advantage of two vulnerable patients in her care and abused her position of trust.

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