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Carer who stole from pair faces jail term

A HOME carer who stole two bank cards from an elderly dementia-suffering couple she was looking after and withdrew £4900 has been told to expect a prison sentence.

But Sheriff Peter Paterson has delayed sending Kirsty Ritchie to jail until he finds out what arrangements have been made for her two-year-old daughter.

The 28-year-old, of ­Galashiels, Selkirkshire, pleaded guilty to stealing the bank cards from the couple, aged 91 and 92, and withdrawing the money over a three-month period.

The fraud only came to light when the daughter and son of the couple noticed unauthorised transactions.

Ritchie also admitted pretending to amazon.co.uk that she was her 41-year-old client, to set up an account in the woman's name, and was supplied goods to the value of £4451.88.

Ritchie - who now works in a hotel - claimed an abusive former partner ­pressured her to order goods using the Amazon account over the two-month period and steal the money, but accepted it was her responsibility.

Defence lawyer Greg McDonnel told Selkirk ­Sheriff Court: "She is deeply remorseful for her behaviour. She is fully aware of the seriousness of these charges against her."

And he asked that a community-based disposal be imposed and Ritchie be able to repay back the money she stole from the elderly couple.

Sheriff Paterson said: "My inclination is to impose a custodial sentence."

But he deferred sentence for a week to find out what arrangements would be made for the child if a prison sentence was imposed.

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