A healthcare assistant working on a Covid ward has been convicted of using a dead patient’s bank card to buy crisps, sweets and fizzy drinks from a hospital vending machine.

Ayesha Basharat took the 83-year-old woman’s card after she passed away at Heartlands Hospital on 24 January.

A doctor recorded her time of death at 1.56pm – but just 17 minutes later Basharat used the card to make six £1 purchases using the vending machine’s contactless touch pad. 

Basharat using the stolen bank card at a vending machine
Basharat using the stolen bank card at a vending machine

The 23-year-old made another one pound purchase that evening before the 23-year-old tried again twice when she next returned to work on 28 January. 

By that time the card had been cancelled and we arrested her during her shift on Ward One still in possession of the victim’s card.

Basharat, from Farm Road, Birmingham initially claimed she found it on the floor and got it “muddled up” with her own card when paying.

However, they were different colours and the court heard how she ignored hospital protocol around patient lost property.

She went on to admit theft and fraud by false representation and at Birmingham Crown Court on 9 June she was given two five-month jail terms to run concurrently, both suspended for 18 months. 

Investigating officer DC Andrew Snowdon from our Force CID said: “This was an abhorrent breach of trust and distressing for the victim’s family. 

She was given a suspended jail sentence at court
She was given a suspended jail sentence at court

“They were having to come to terms with the death of a loved one from Covid when they found the bank card missing – and then of course the realisation that the card was taken by someone who should have been caring for her.

“Our Hospital Liaison Officer worked closely with Heartlands security team to gather evidence in this case. I’d like to thank them and the victim’s family for their support during the investigation.

“I wish the family all the best for the future and with this conviction hope they can move on from this upsetting episode.”