A carer who "lost everything" after stealing thousands of pounds from vulnerable care home residents to fund his gambling issues has been spared an immediate prison sentence.

Luke Fox, 35, admitted stealing £6,050 from seven victims over a 10-month period while working for specialist care and support providers Voyage Care in Welshpool.

His Honour Judge Niclas Parry, sentencing at Mold Crown Court on Thursday, May 2, said: "Gambling is potentially as addictive as drugs and alcohol. Glamorised but in reality, it ruins lives and it ruined yours.

"It causes normally decent people to act out of character and it has to you.

"As you have conceded, it was despicable offending because you were being paid to look after these people. They were easy prey."


Prosecuting barrister Joshua Gorst said Fox had abused his position of trust by "deliberately targeting vulnerable people within his care" over a "sustained period of time" between October 24, 2021, and August 26, 2022.

Barrister Jemma Gordon, who was acting on behalf of the Caersws man, said "the guilt has eaten away at him" and he fully accepted what he had done but denied deliberately targeting the victims based on their vulnerability.

She told the judge that there had been a "rather significant delay" which was not Fox's fault, which had taken almost a year for the case to appear in court.

"It is understandable the effect [the delay] has had on Mr Fox bearing in mind the effect on his employment and family and the ability to see his children," Ms Gordon said. "A significant effect caused by that delay".

She added: "Mr Fox is someone with a realistic prospect of rehabilitation. He has an insight into those issues and how he ended up committing the offence which is out of character.

"He is willing to engage with the probation service. He’s willing to comply with an order, something he sees as positive for him to ensure that he doesn’t act in the same way."

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Judge Parry told Fox that he would give him maximum credit for his guilty plea for fraud by abuse of position.

"I accept that you are genuinely remorseful and your conduct since at every court appearance has reflected that," he said.

"I bear in mind your addiction at the time, and that the seven victims have been compensated.

"I bear in mind that you have lost everything, and you have to start again."

Fox, of Ty Gwyn Road, Caersws, was sentenced to 12 months in prison which was suspended for 18 months because the judge believed that there was "clearly a prospect of rehabilitation".

The 35-year-old, who is unemployed, must complete 30 rehabilitation requirement days and 150 hours of unpaid work as well as pay £150 prosecution costs.