A former health care assistant who used the credit cards of cancer patients she was supposed to take care of has been sentenced at Southwark Crown Court.

Mira Solmaz, 33, of Mare Street, Hackney, was jailed for 15 months after pleading guilty to five counts of fraud and four months for three counts of possession of articles for use in fraud, to run concurrently.

She also pleaded guilty to one count of money laundering which will remain on file.

Solmaz, who had direct access to the victims’ wards, pleaded guilty following a police investigation which found that the cards were linked to Solmaz though email addresses, telephone numbers and home addresses.

Investigators also obtained Solmaz’s screenshots of her transactions.

In early April 2021, 65-year-old Hazel Longhurst, a cancer inpatient at St Batholomew’s Hospital, became aware of transactional activity from her cards, despite being in hospital at the time. The patient’s daughter made a police report on 7 April 2021.

Around £1,660 worth of fraudulent purchases were made on these cards.

Hazel Longhurst said:

“She targeted me while I was fighting for my life. For a person who is supposed to be in a position of care and trust to do this is just pure evil. I’ve worked for the NHS as a nurse my whole life, I’m just in disbelief that someone can do what she did and the actions of this one person has made me uneasy and more wary of people now.

“I really want to thank the City of London Police, especially Stacie Cottrell, for all the hard work she’s put into this investigation.”

On 31 December 2020, Todd Mallonee, who was also a cancer inpatient at St Bartholomew’s Hospital, noticed his credit card and other items missing. On 5 January 2021, his wife contacted the police.

Some £360 worth of transactions on these cards were linked to Solmaz.

Sadley, Mr Mallonee passed away on 28 April 2021 aged 48.

Detective Constable Stacie Cottrell, City of London Police, said:

“Mira Solmaz violated the trust and confidence of two vulnerable patients placed in her care, where the families of the victims expected their loved ones to be looked after.

“I would like to extend my condolences to Todd’s family and friends. I’m saddened that he wasn’t able to see Solmaz brought to justice.

“I’m very grateful to the families of these victims in reporting this to the police and supporting this investigation.”

Solmaz also pleaded guilty to possession of articles for use in fraud, after officers found photos of credit cards on her phone belonging to a nurse at Royal London Hospital.

A Barts Health NHS Trust spokesperson said:

“As soon as we became aware of the allegations against Ms Solmaz, she was suspended and an internal investigation launched. This was completed in December 2022, following the police investigation, and Ms Solmaz was subsequently dismissed.”

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