Disabled Fife woman robbed of almost £10k by her carer


A vulnerable Fife woman was robbed of almost £10,000 by a carer who was supposed to helping her cope with daily life.

Instead 23-year-old Kirsty McQuade, who worked for the charity Scottish Autism, repeatedly took the victim’s bank debit card from her home and withdrew large sums from cash machines.

McQuade, who helped herself to the woman’s money for more than five weeks, is now behind bars for her callous theft.

McQuade, from Kelty, admitted that on various occasions between 25th March and 8th May at an address in Cowdenbeath she stole a bank card.

She also admitted she formed a fraudulent scheme to obtain money, goods and services to the value of £9961.86 by pretending she was authorised to use the debit card in Cowdenbeath and elsewhere in Fife.

Depute fiscal Dev Kapadia said McQuade was employed as carer for Scottish Autism and had lost that job as a result of her crimes.

The victim is a 44-year-old woman who becomes confused with days and times, the court was told.

She requires assistance with daily tasks around her home from the charity for 24 hours a week and McQuade was one of those providing that.

On 8th May, the woman found her bank card protruding through her letter box.

She informed her carer that day, not McQuade, about this and inquries were carried out with her bank.

When the woman and her carer attended the local TSB branch it emerged that there were a series of withdrawals made from the account which were not recognised.

When McQuade was interviewed by police she made no admissions and began giving “no comment” answers.

Defence solicitor Ian Beatson said his client lived with her mother and the offences were a result of a drugs misuse problem.

“She was using cocaine after splitting up with her partner. That use was excessive to say the least,” he added.

She was now unemployed and had stopped using cocaine, said Mr Beatson.

Sheriff Charles MacNair told McQuade she had been put in position of trust.

He added, “You breached that trust in the most appalling matter. This was not a one-off opportunistic offence. Over a period of five weeks you systematically stole almost £10,000 from this vulnerable victim.

“The vast majority of carers do not abuse their position of trust. They care for those people who are vulnerable.” He jailed McQuade for six months.

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