A ‘GREEDY’ nurse who kept collecting her wages for 17 months after she quite her NHS job splurged the money on foreign holidays and football matches.
Sarah Merry, 35, pocketed more than £25,000 as she failed to tell Cwm Taf University Health Board in south Wales she was still getting her monthly wage.
Athena Picture Agency Sarah Merry pictured posing with former rugby star Gareth Thomas while working at Cwm Taf University Health Board
Instead of giving the money back, the mum-of-one spent it on family holidays and watching her beloved Cardiff City football team.
A court heard the blunders were only discovered when health chiefs carried out a review into salary payments.
NHS Counter Fraud specialists then carried out an investigation – and diabetes specialist nurse Merry admitted receiving the money and spending it.
Merry, of Tonyrefail, South Wales, admitted theft and was handed a six month suspended sentence.
Instead of alerting her previous NHS employers to the continued salary payment error, she decided to keep the moneyCheryl Hill, NHS Counter Fraud Services Wales
She was ordered to compensate the health board in full – repaying £250 a month for the next eight years.
Merry was also ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work, attend a rehabilitation course and pay £360 costs.
Speaking after the verdict, Cheryl Hill of the NHS Counter Fraud Services Wales, said: “Sarah Merry deliberately spent NHS money that she had not earned and did not belong to her.
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“Instead of alerting her previous NHS employers to the continued salary payment error, she decided to keep the money and spend it on herself, money which should have been spent on NHS services.
“The vast majority of NHS staff are honest and care greatly for their NHS, but Sarah Merry has let down her profession through her greed.
“NHS staff are reminded that they should always contact their employers regarding any possible salary overpayments, or face the consequences if they decide to retain and spend the money.”
Athena Picture Agency Sarah Merry spent the money on family holidays
Athena Picture Agency Sarah Merry was paid £25,000 over 17 months after leaving her job
Athena Picture Agency She was told to pay the money back over the next eight years
Athena Picture Agency The 35-year-old admitted theft
Athena Picture Agency She also spent the money on following her football team, Cardiff City
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