Beds, Herts & Bucks

Hertfordshire social worker Lorraine Graves struck off

Lorraine Graves Image copyright Hertfordshire Police
Image caption Lorraine Graves' conduct involved a "serious breach of trust", the HCPC ruled

A social worker who stole more than £30,000 held by Hertfordshire County Council on behalf of vulnerable pensioners has been struck off.

Lorraine Graves, was jailed in September after admitting seven counts of theft.

The Health and Care Professions Council said her conduct was "irremediable" and removed her from their register.

Graves, previously of Glebe Road, Hertford, has 28 days to lodge an appeal against its decision.

A panel of the independent regulatory body's conduct and competence committee heard how county council employee Graves took money totalling £31,043.90 from victims in Welwyn Garden City between 2009 and 2011.

While working in the Welwyn and Hatfield Old People and Physical Disabilities department, she falsely requested payments from the local authority on service users' behalf, for goods and services they knew nothing about.

'Breach of trust'

The offender was caught when the executor of a victim's will questioned deficits in the deceased's accounts.

Panel chair Nicola Bastin, said it had judged Graves' behaviour to be "so serious as to be irremediable".

"Her conduct involved a serious breach of trust against highly vulnerable individuals, over a long period of time, which was deliberate, premeditated, and involved large sums of money," she said.

The committee decided the most appropriate action was to strike her from the register with an interim suspension order in place to cover the appeal period.

Graves was jailed by Cambridge Crown Court last year and released on licence in January, but did not appear at the committee's hearing.

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