Husband surrenders to police after wife confesses to crime in her sleep
A carer who stole thousands of dollars from a vulnerable woman in a wheelchair has been caught when her husband overheard her talking about it in her sleep.
Ruth Fort stole £7,220 from the woman and spent it on a family holiday in Mexico.
Her husband, Anthony, became suspicious when his wife started spending large sums of money. He finally turned himself in to the police when he heard his wife talking in her sleep and saw a debit card, which belonged to the nursing home resident, in her purse.
Addressing the Echo of Liverpool, Mr Fort said: “It was more of an instinct, at first. But when I found the debit card in her purse, I knew. It was heartbreaking.
“I deeply loved Ruth, but I couldn’t ignore what she had done. It was abhorrent to me that she could steal from a vulnerable person and I had to report her.
In February last year, she was given a 16-month suspended prison sentence on the condition that she attend drug treatment sessions.
At the time, the judge praised Mr Fort for his ‘commendable’ actions and said: ‘It must have been a very difficult thing to do.’
The judge spoke of the “revulsion the public feels for those in positions of authority and responsibility who take advantage of vulnerable members of our community for financial gain”.
She told Fort, “The temptation here has turned into greed, and you should be ashamed of your behavior.”
Fort appeared at Liverpool Crown Court this month after breaching his sentence by failing to attend his rehab sessions twice and for missing a meeting with his probation officer.
The judge agreed to give him one last chance and imposed a six-week curfew on him.
Mr Fort, 61, met his wife while studying at Liverpool University and they both shared a love of music.
“We went to concerts and walked a lot,” he said. “We were really happy together.”
They moved in together and were married on New Years Eve 2010. Mr Fort added: ‘One night in August 2018 I picked Ruth up from work and she told me she had taken one. residents of the nursing home shopping that day.
“She said the lady, who was in a wheelchair, had £98,000 in her bank account. Something in the way he spoke made my heart skip a beat. I realized that Ruth must have access to the card and PIN.
“There was nothing more to do, but I started to worry, even though I had no reason to. It was an instinct.”
Later that year, while on a family vacation in Mexico, his wife began spending a lot of money on trips and excursions while they were there.
Her aunt also expressed concern when she came and saw her niece withdrawing large sums of money from an ATM.
Then in December 2018, Mr. Fort was awakened by his wife talking in her sleep.
“Ruth was mumbling about money,” he said, “and when I woke up I saw the purse on the floor with some fallen bills.”
He saw the vulnerable woman’s debit card in the purse and “everything clicked”.
Barrister John Keane, who defended Fort in court, said she was a vulnerable member of society and her life fell apart as a result of the case.
He told the court that there were drug addicts calling her home and calling her, and that she had a 15-year-old daughter who depended on her.
At this month’s hearing, Judge Brian Cummings said he would give Fort one last chance.