Ayesha Basharat using the vending machine (Image: WMP / SWNS)

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A heathcare assistant who used a dead patient's bank card to buy snacks from a vending machine just 17 minutes after she died has reportedly refused to apologise.

Ayesha Basharat stole the 83-year-old woman's card after she died of Covid, and bought crisps, sweets and fizzy drink at the hospital.

The 23-year-old thief was suspended from her role at Heartlands Hospital in Bordesley Green, Birmingham, and was spared jail on Wednesday.

But today, when approached outside her home in the Sparkbrook area of the city, an embarrassed Basharat refused to say sorry for her behaviour.

"I don’t want to talk about it, I have nothing to say," the thief said.

Basharat was convicted on Wednesday June 9
(Image: WMP / SWNS)

Basharat reportedly stayed silent when she was asked to explain why she had used the stolen bank card.

Flanked by her taxi driver dad and elder brother, the woman declined to answer when asked if she was upset at the prospect of losing her job for an action described as “disgraceful” by her hospital, the Sun Online reports.

Basharat admitted theft and fraud by false representation at Birmingham Crown Court on June 9.

The healthcare assistant used a dead patient’s bank card
(Image: WMP / SWNS)

She was sentenced to two five-month terms to run concurrently, both suspended for 18 months.

A spokesperson for University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust said: "She was suspended immediately this incident came to light and while the court case was pending.

"Now proceedings have concluded she faces disciplinary action within the next seven to 10 days. Her conviction will be taken into account.

"She faces losing her job for gross misconduct. In disciplinary hearings past or spent convictions would be taken into account on a case by case basis when deciding the outcome but she has an active conviction so it is highly unlikely she could remain in our employment."

The spokesperson said she had been employed by the hospital as a "bank member of staff" meaning she was one of a pool of workers who could choose when they wanted to work on the rota.

He told how the hospital had apologised to the woman’s family, saying: "We have formally apologised to them but do not know if she has.

"All steps were taken to support the patient’s family."

Heartlands Hospital is in Bordesley Green, east Birmingham
(Image: SWNS)

The court heard a doctor had recorded the pensioner's death at 1.56pm in January, and Basharat was caught on camera making six £1 contactless purchases just minutes later.

By that time the card had been cancelled and police arrested her during her shift while she was still in possession of the victim's card.

Basharat initially claimed she found it on the floor and got it "muddled up" with her own card when paying for her snacks.

But a court heard how the bank cards were different colours and that Basharat had ignored hospital protocol around patient lost property.

After her conviction, police branded the woman's behaviour as "abhorrent".

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Investigating officer Detective Constable Andrew Snowdon, from West Midlands Police, said: "This was an abhorrent breach of trust and distressing for the victim’s family.

"They were having to come to terms with the death of a loved one from Covid when they found the bank card missing – and then of course the realisation that the card was taken by someone who should have been caring for her.

"Our Hospital Liaison Officer worked closely with Heartlands security team to gather evidence in this case.

"I'd like to thank them and the victim's family for their support during the investigation.

"I wish the family all the best for the future and with this conviction hope they can move on from this upsetting episode."