Hospital care worker stole bank cards from dying man

A care assistant has been jailed for stealing bank cards from a dying patient and going on a spending spree while he lay terminally ill in hospital.

Rebecca Ellis stole two debit cards from cancer patient Fred Bromley when he was admitted to Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham on 20 February 2020.

Hours later she used one of the contactless cards to buy biscuits at an on-site WHSmith shop within the QE.

And after that “test purchase” succeeded she went on to use them at various stores plus ordered £126 worth of clothes from Dorothy Perkins online.

Caught on camera: Ellis using the stolen bank card to buy biscuits
Caught on camera: Ellis using the stolen bank card to buy biscuits

Mr Bromley’s daughter noticed the cards had vanished and cancelled them on 24 February but not before Ellis had taken a large amount of money from her dad’s accounts.  

Birmingham Magistrates Court heard Ellis stole them from Mr Bromley’s overnight bag in the A&E department after he was admitted to hospital due to a cancerous hip joint dislocating.

We examined hospital CCTV which showed the 49-year-old using a blue Nationwide Bank card to make a £2.70 WHSmith purchase for a tub of biscuits.

Other enquiries revealed Ellis used one of Mr Bromley’s cards on the Dorothy Perkins website buying clothes in her dress size and handbags.

Elllis was arrested on 13 August from her home address in Smethwick.

In interview she refused to answer any of the 100-plus questions we put to her, including how she’d used a Nationwide card despite never having held an account with the bank.

Ellis: jailed for nine months
Ellis: jailed for nine months

She denied theft and fraud but was found guilty at Birmingham Magistrates Court and today (23 Sept) was jailed for nine months at the city’s crown court.

Ellis will never work in the care sector again.

Mr Bromley – a former West Midlands Police Inspector – sadly passed away not long after the offences had taken place aged 66 following his battle with hip cancer.  

Our Investigating officer DC Mark Bates from Force CID said: “This is a despicable and cowardly act bought about by greed and the total disregard for the suffering of Mr Bromley in his final weeks. 

“Mr Bromley, on finding out he was a victim of fraud, was upset and disheartened as he trusted the staff at the QE Hospital. 

“Mr Bromley died not long after the offence. His daughter Anna is quite rightly disgusted by the actions of Ms Ellis and welcomes the prosecution.”

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