Glasgow & West Scotland

Care worker Sarah Smyth jailed for nursing home theft

A care worker who stole almost £1,800 from an 82-year-old man at a nursing home has been jailed for six months.

Sarah Smyth, 24, admitted taking James Stevenson's bank card and PIN and using it to withdraw cash and charge goods.

Airdrie Sheriff Court heard the theft took place at Carrickstone Nursing Home in Cumbernauld on 11 April 2013. Mr Stevenson died 10 days later.

Jailing Smyth, Sheriff Robert Dickson told her she had committed a "total basic breach of trust".

Smyth broke down in tears in the dock as Sheriff Dickson said she had let down the "respect, dignity and honesty of care workers" throughout Scotland and that she had "put anxiety in the hearts and minds of people who have family in the care of people who do a tremendous job".

'Tragic case'

"I cannot ignore this was a total basic breach of trust," the sheriff told her.

"This was a tragic case for the family. You were in the care of an old man who had lost his sight. You stole his credit card and on five occasions used it to obtain money and on other occasions to obtain goods for yourself.

"This was a persistent fraud and you knew you could not be identified because of his poor eyesight."

The court heard that at the time of the theft, Mr Stevenson, a retired gas plumber and gas engineer, was recuperating after sustaining fractures to his thigh.

He died 10 days after the theft from a pulmonary embolism.

Following the theft, Smyth obtained £1,000 in cash from his account and charged £692.69 in goods from various shops including River Island.

The court heard she also spent more than £100 at a hair salon.

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