Bedford carer who stole bank cards from former employer is jailed

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A carer who burgled the home of a former employer went on a shopping spree using the victim’s bank cards.

Sukhvinder Thapar, 35, was jailed for 21 months after a judge heard he had broken into a home in Goldington Road, Bedford, where he had previously worked. The victim and her disabled husband were asleep upstairs.

Prosecutor Prithvijit Notu Hoon told Luton Crown Court the woman had left her £145 handbag in the kitchen. There was £100 in her purse, a few coins and two bank cards. Her driving licence, a pen valued at £550 and other items were taken.

The bag and its contents were worth £1,620, said Mr Notu Hoon.

In the morning, the woman received a text from Barclaycard to verify contactless transactions that had been carried out in the Cardington Road Tesco store in the early hours. They were valued at £42.70. A First Direct card had also been used to make contactless payments totalling £90.59.

Thapar had previously worked as a home carer for the woman’s husband, the court was told.

He also used cards that had been stolen from the wallet of a man who lived in Malvern Road, Bedford obtaining £400 worth of goods.

Thapar, of Elstow Road, Bedford, pleaded guilty to burglary and two charges of fraud committed in August last year. He had two convictions for burglary from 2001 and 2003.

Misbah Zahid defending, said that, at the time, Thapar was waiting for his wife and child to have permission to come to the UK from India. “He had two jobs and was trying to make ends meet. He was at home and found himself drinking with a friend. He ran out of drink and went out to buy more drink. The burglary took place on impulse.”

He said the cards were used to purchase alcohol and clothes to sell on.

She said his wife had now joined him and he has turned away from his previous circle of friends. Their second child is due in December.

Jailing him, Recorder Icah Peart QC said: “The other burglaries were many years ago. Notwithstanding it seems to be that custody is inevitable.”