Disgraced hospice thief back in court for stealing from her mother

Kathleen Gaughan. PIC: Simon Hulme
Kathleen Gaughan. PIC: Simon Hulme

A former hospice receptionist who plundered more than £6,000 from the charity where she worked also stole from her mother after she was diagnosed with dementia, a court heard.

The Yorkshire Evening Post reported in 2013 how Kathleen Gaughan was given a suspended prison sentence after she stole £6,482 while working for Wakefield Hospice.

The offending took place between October 2011 and June 2012.

Gaughan, 55, returned to Leeds Crown Court where she pleaded guilty to the theft of £5,022 from her mother between 2008 and 2011.

Carmel Pearson, prosecuting, said the offending took place when she was granted a civil guardianship order after her mother was diagnosed with dementia. Gaughan was allowed access to her mother’s money to pay for bills and food while she was in council-owned accommodation.

The offending came to light when social services became aware that Gaughan’s mother was in arrears with her utility bills. Her mother told social workers that she did not have any money and wondered why her daughter did not give her any.

Gaughan, of Hawksworth Grove, Leeds, was interviewed and admitted that she had been spending the money on herself. She pleaded guilty to theft.

A probation officer told the court Gaughan had completed 200 hours unpaid work and had paid the £5,000 compensation order which had been made imposed for her previous offence.

The court heard the offending took place during the breakdown of the relationship with her husband and she is now divorced.

Gaughan’s mother has died since the offending and she received part of her estate.

Michael Miller, mitigating, said Gaughan pleaded guilty at an early stage.

Gaughan was given a six month prison sentence, suspended for two years, and was ordered to do 80 hours unpaid work.