A couple of former paramedics who posed as nurses to steal medication from terminally ill patients have been jailed.
A couple of former paramedics who posed as nurses to steal morphine and painkillers from terminally ill patients have been jailed for five years.
Ruth Lambert and Jessica Silvester from Margate, who were engaged, pretended to be nurses and preyed on terminally ill patients across Kent during lockdown to gain access to their homes and steal their medication.
33-year-old Lambert and 29-year-old Silvester were able to access patient records on the NHS computer systems because of their jobs as paramedics with the South East Coast Ambulance Service.
The couple would identify their victims and discuss them via WhatsApp before visiting their homes in Thanet, Canterbury, Whitstable, Faversham and Herne Bay in Kent to steal their medication.
Investigations found that they had carried out 29 burglaries, with Silvester finding the possible targets on the NHS database and Lambert carrying out the raids.
They also kept a diary of the burglaries, logging addresses they had visited, medications in properties, any notes of interest and whether they had previously been refused entry.
The couple pleaded guilty to conspiring to burgle and conspiring to commit theft – having also stolen a £14,000 ultrasound machine from the NHS – and were each sentenced yesterday at Canterbury Crown Court to five years in prison.
The equipment has since been returned to the NHS.
Detective Sergeant Jay Robinson from Kent Police’s Chief Constable’s Crime Squad said: “These offences were an astonishing abuse of position. These two thieves, whose jobs were to care for those in need, were plotting and stealing crucial medication from terminally ill patients. Many of their victims have since passed away and will never know that justice has been done. Our investigation was carried out, knowing we had to represent those victims and do the very best for them.”
“My thoughts are with the families of all those who were targeted by these thieves. We thank them for their support during what must have been an already difficult and sad time for them.”