A carer stole £9,000 from a pensioner she was caring for and then told police her brother would pay back the money.
Anne McConnell, the sister of former first minister Lord McConnell, took the cash from the 80-year-old, who suffers from severe arthritis, while employed as her carer on the Isle of Arran.
She claimed she had taken the money because she was going through the menopause and is now facing jail for her conduct, which was branded “despicable” by a sheriff.
The details emerged yesterday when the 51-year-old appeared in the dock at Kilmarnock Sheriff Court.
McConnell, represented by defence solicitor Martin Duffy, pleaded guilty to stealing Janette Noteman’s savings account card and £9,000 from the account after striking a deal with prosecutors which saw the sum she stole reduced from £17,900.
Procurator-fiscal depute Claire McEvinney told Sheriff Elizabeth McFarlane that McConnell, who has two brothers, was employed as a private carer for Ms Noteman when she took the money from the pensioner’s savings account.
She withdrew the money from the account over a six-month period between February and August last year after getting hold of her bank card and pin number.
The offence only came to light when McConnell left her role as Ms Noteman’s carer after three years in the job and the pensioner noticed money missing from her account.
McConnell used the card to take £200 from a Bank of Scotland cash machine in Brodick, Arran. She then used the card several times, taking a total of £9,000 from the account.
Miss McEvinney said: “She apologised and said her brother would pay the money back.
“She said she needed it to pay her mortgage and said she wasn’t right in the head because of the menopause.”
Sheriff Elizabeth McFarlane called for McConnell to be assessed by social workers.
She said: “It’s just as well I’m not going to sentence you today – it gives me a chance to cool down.”
A spokesperson for Jack McConnell said: “Jack McConnell is not involved in this court case in any way. He has never been asked to contribute to any payment and is not making any payment in relation to these proceedings.”