A carer has been jailed after stealing more than £6,000 from an 83-year-old man she was looking after.
Megan Robertson, 22, stole her vulnerable victim’s bank card and visited cash machines on dozens of occasions usually withdrawing the maximum amount.
She had learned the pensioners pin number when she took him to a cash point before stealing his card and using it herself.
When police searched her home after catching her on CCTV they discovered over £1000 in cash and receipts for new clothes and expensive kids toys.
Robertson was sentenced to six months by Sheriff Graham Buchanan who described her offence as ‘mean and nasty’ and a serious ‘breach of trust.’
Fiscal depute Carol Gammie told Aberdeen Sheriff Court: “Megan Robertson was employed as a care assistant with Aberness Care Ltd, and the complainer was one of her clients.
“The complainer attended a TSB branch in Ellon on November 5 at 12.15pm. He attended to withdraw cash and informed them he mislaid his bank card.
“He was advised by the cashier of unusual activity. Between September 19 and November 4 2020 the sum of £6,320 had been withdrawn from his account.”
She continued: “Police officers investigated the matter and identified the ATMs concerned.
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“CCTV footage was obtained and reviewed. The accused’s vehicle was identified as attending at these locations and a female observed at the ATMs at the precise times the withdrawals were made.”
The court heard Robertson had previously accompanied the pensioner in her capacity as a carer to withdraw money from a cash machine and had learned his pin number then.
The fiscal added: “A search warrant was obtained for her address and a search was carried out.”
Officers discovered a cash tin containing between £1,000 and £1,500, as well as a large number of receipts for new clothes, children’s toys and other items and ATM receipts.
Ms Gammie said: “A witness advised officers of a concern she had had over the accused’s spending habits.”
Robertson, pled guilty to stealing a bank card and to using it to steal £6,320.
The withdrawals were made at various locations in Ellon and Portlethen in Aberdeenshire.
Defence agent Neil McRobert said: “Ms Robertson acknowledges she has pled guilty to a serious offence.
“She accepts, in the course of her employment working with this individual, she was in a position of trust and accepts she abused that position of trust.
“The social work report addresses some mental health difficulties she had and was having during 2020. She was prescribed medication in relation to that.”
Mr McRobert said his client was not in a position to repay the money stolen.
Sheriff Graham Buchanan told Robertson: “This was a mean and nasty offence and, of course, a very serious breach of trust committed by you in relation to an elderly gentleman to whom you were a carer.
“You persisted in this behaviour over a period of almost two months and appropriated over £6,000 from the gentleman’s bank account.
“I take the view that this is such a serious matter that only a custodial sentence is appropriate for the purpose of both punishing you for the serious offences you committed and also to make it absolutely plain to others that behaviour of this kind will be dealt with seriously by the courts.”
Following the conclusion of the case, Aberness Care Ltd welcomed the sentence.
Dawn Knowles and Mairi MacLeod, managing directors, made a joint statement that said: “Aberness Care Ltd is delighted with the outcome and that justice has been served.
“We have zero-tolerance in relation to abuse of vulnerable adults and our clients and we hope the court’s decision will highlight awareness of adult protection and that behaviour like this will not be tolerated.”
Aberness also confirmed Robertson was no longer employed by the firm and stressed all staff go through rigorous training and checks.
Megan Robertson was sentenced to six months in prison for the crime