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A former carer has been jailed for seven months for embezzling more than £6,000 from vulnerable people.
Rosemarie Morrison, of 10 Marine Court, Dunbeg, pleaded guilty to stealing a total £6,380 from people she cared for.
The 36-year-old initially admitted to lifting £4,300 from a disabled pensioner’s bank account in instalments of between £200 and £500 over a 10-day period in June of this year.
Morrison then appeared in Oban Sheriff Court regarding this and, after some publicity, a number of other people came forward and reported similar thefts.
She then pleaded guilty to stealing a further £2,080 from a total of eight people, some of whom suffered from dementia and limited mobility.
The money was taken in amounts that varied from £40 to £1,000 between April 2015 and May 2017.
Morrison was sentenced to seven months’ imprisonment when she appeared in Oban Sheriff Court on Monday October 9.
She took a total of £3,000 cash to the court. This came after her initial hearing was deferred for Morrison to explore options to recompense the victims.
It was at this hearing that Morrison said she used the money to pay for bills after racking up thousands of pounds of debt.
On Monday, her solicitor, Kevin McGinnes, said: ‘She tells me since the matter was last in court she has had three sessions with a psychiatric nurse and she has attended three sessions at Gamblers Anonymous held in Greenock.
‘As well as that, she has brought £3,000 in cash. She would offer that to the court as a down-payment towards compensation to all of the patients.
‘She wants to make abundantly clear that she feels terrible for her behaviour. She is ashamed of herself for doing this. She has expressed deep remorse.’
It was revealed in court that the disabled pensioner who had lost a total of £4,300 had been fully reimbursed by the Bank of Scotland.
From the £3,000 in compensation that Morrison brought to the court, Sheriff Patrick Hughes ordered for £820 to be issued to the Bank of Scotland and the remaining £2,180 to be given to the victims, depending on how much they had lost.
Sheriff Hughes said that a carer who breaches their position of trust must face a custodial sentence.
‘The maximum sentence I can give is 12 months’ imprisonment,’ he said. ‘This is a very serious matter. However, it’s not at the highest level.
‘The starting point will be 10 months and that will be reduced to seven months, which will run from today.’