A CHARITY worker who raided vulnerable adults’ bank accounts and stole more than £18,000 has been jailed for 15 months.
Katrina McKenna, 50, worked at Enable Scotland’s office in Airdrie, Lanarkshire, but staff became suspicious of her and called in police following a review.
An investigation later found money had been taken from clients’ accounts over a three-year period and McKenna was originally charged with stealing £34,485.
Enable is a charity which campaigns for children and adults who have learning disabilities.
McKenna, of Glasgow, admitted stealing a total of £18,546 after reaching a plea deal with prosecutors and yesterday was jailed at Airdrie Sheriff Court.
She embezzled the cash between 1 April 2008 and 24 February 2011 at Enable’s offices in Airdrie where she worked as a team leader caring for disabled clients.
Her lawyer said: “She was regarded as a good employee and was promoted to the position she was in after a year and was the team leader when she was dismissed.
“Her husband had an alcohol dependency problem and he was losing his job as a result.
“He thinks he lost between seven to eight jobs between 2008 and this matter coming to light.
“They were in arrears with a number of household bills including their mortgage.
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“It was at that time she embarked on this offending.
“It seems this started in a small way with sums of between £50 and £100 and she took the money with the intention of repaying it.
“She is embarrassed by what has happened and she accepts full responsibility.”
Depute fiscal Gordon Crawford had earlier told how staff had become suspicious of McKenna after discovering missing sums of cash from clients who had state benefits held for them in bank accounts.
He added: “She held a position as team leader and was responsible for seven adults.
“She was the authorised signatory for their accounts at the bank.
“She failed to lodge records and 111 cheques were used and she had inserted figures on the chequebook stubs.
“This took place at Christmas time and summer which could suggest financial struggles.”
Sheriff Frank Pieri said: “I consider this an extremely serious matter. It is a gross breach of trust perpetrated over three years against some of the weakest and most vulnerable in society.
“It seems custody is the only way of dealing with this.”