Hospital worker stole cash from dying cancer patients

Corena Briley
Corena Briley

A COLD-hearted hospital-worker from Hucknall has been jailed after stealing money from patients who were dying from cancer.

Corena Briley (42), of Claremont Avenue, worked in administration as a discharge co-ordinator on the oncology department at Nottingham City Hospital.

She also had some duties as a part-time nursing assistant.

But while most nurses are referred to as ‘angels’, Briley was anything but.

Nottingham Crown Court heard that she helped herself to cash from patients’ belongings. She even stole from staff and took money raised by a raffle to buy presents for cancer sufferers.

Briley pleaded guilty to nine charges of theft and one of fraud.

She cried in the dock as Judge Michael Stokes sent her down for a year.

He told her: “You have behaved, in my judgement, in a manipulative way.

“You have stolen from patients and then commiserated with them about the theft when you yourself were the thief. It is difficult to imagine a more serious breach of trust.

“This was simple, opportunistic, perhaps impulsive dishonesty.”

Among Briley’s victims was terminally-ill Annette Imri (35) and Annette’s mum, Jeanette, last September.

While Jeanette took Annette to the toilet, Briley took £150 from the patient’s bag and £30 from Jeanette’s bag. The thefts were discovered the next day.

Annette has since died from cervical cancer. Her mum has labelled Briley’s actions “disgusting”.

The court heard that Briley also took bank cards from some of her victims and even consoled them after the thefts had come to light.

The crux of another of the charges was the theft of £80 from a 64-year-old patient with lung cancer.

Briley took the cash from his bedside cabinet. The man died 11 days after being admitted to hospital last October.

Other offences included £93 and a bank card being taken from a female patient. It was later discovered that more than £300 was spent on the card in a Hucknall store.

Briley even raided the belongings of a consultant oncologist and stole a bank card that she again used in the same shop.

The court heard that she took items ranging from make-up and a driving licence to an iPhone from other colleagues.

In mitigation, the court was told by Nicola Hornby (defending) that Briley was ashamed but couldn’t explain the reason behind her offences.

She previously had a clean record but had been on anti-depressant medication.

Miss Hornby added that her client “wasn’t living an extravagant lifestyle”.

Once Briley had confessed to the police and pleaded guilty in court, she was sacked.

Daniel Mortimer, of Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, said the safety of patients was paramount.

“It is upsetting that vulnerable patients and their relatives have become victims of crime at our hospital,” he said. “However, when the thefts came to light, we are satisfied the Trust took appropriate action in a timely way and that justice has now been served.”