Nursing home worker Scott Horton repeatedly stole from an 82-year-old resident’s purse, until a hidden camera caught him in the act.
Nursing home worker Scott Horton repeatedly stole from an 82-year-old resident’s purse, until a hidden camera caught him in the act.

Hidden camera catches nursing home thief in the act

A nursing assistant who repeatedly stole money from an elderly woman in a nursing home was caught out after police set up a secret camera in the 82-year-old's room.

Scott Alexander David Horton was working as an assistant in nursing and was not allowed to enter the nursing home residents' rooms if they were empty.

But Horton used a key to unlock a drawer in the 82-year-old's bedroom when she was not there, taking $100 cash from a purse inside her handbag, a tribunal heard.

He then locked the drawer and left the room, but a few weeks later he returned and stole $65 from the same elderly resident's purse, once again using a nursing home key.

After the resident complained about the missing money, she and the nursing home allowed police to install a hidden camera in the room, Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal heard.

Horton then stole $40 cash and returned a week later and stole another $40 from the resident's purse.

Horton was then arrested and charged with four counts of entering a dwelling and stealing money in 2017.

He pleaded guilty to those and other charges on November 5, 2018, and was sentenced to 12 months' jail, but was released on parole on the same day.

Horton had completed a Certificate 3 in Indigenous Community Services and Primary Health Care at a TAFE college in 2001.

Horton was prohibited from providing any health services from August, 2018, under an interim order.

In December, 2019, Horton admitted all the allegations against him for a disciplinary proceeding, the tribunal heard.

He said he wanted the tribunal to make an order of "full prohibition to work in the nursing industry" and stated that he didn't "want to do this anymore".

QCAT deputy President Judge John Allen said Horton's theft from the vulnerable resident was repeated and devious.

"The conduct and (Horton's) criminal history demonstrate a persistent propensity towards dishonesty," Judge Allen said.

"That fundamental character flaw is incompatible with that required of a health care worker."

Judge Allen found Horton posed a serious risk to people if he was to continue to work in the health services.

Conduct like his not only hurt vulnerable people financially, but also had the potential to seriously affect such a person's confidence and feelings of personal security, the judge said.

On March 26, Judge Allen ordered that Horton be permanently prohibited from providing any health service.

Originally published as Hidden camera catches nursing home thief in the act



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