Junkie jailed for “despicable” theft from frail OAP
A frail 74-year-old Fife woman was robbed by a female drug addict she had tried to help.
Kari-Anne Brown (27), of Queensferry Road, Rosyth, was jailed for the “despicable” crime at Dunfermline Sheriff Court.
Unemployed heroin addict Brown knew the pensioner often kept money in her home for a Dunfermline social club and went there when the victim was out to steal the cash.
Her own solicitor admitted it was a “particularly despicable” offence.
Brown admitted that between 22nd and 23rd November at an address in Inverkeithing, she stole £500.
Depute fiscal Dev Kapadia said, “The complainer is 74, lives alone and is in poor health. She helps out at the British Legion Club in the New Row, doing the books and as a result there can be a lot of money kept in her house.”
Through her grand-daughter the victim met Brown and they became friends.
“The complainer took pity on the accused when she had fallen out with her family,” added the depute.
On the day of the offence Brown had been at the victim’s home for a coffee and had gone outside for a smoke using the patio doors which she did not lock when she came back in.
Later, the victim had to go to the club and dropped Brown off but she returned to the house.
The pensioner returned home at 10.30pm but it was only the next morning she noticed the money was missing.
When Brown was detained by police she claimed she had spent all the money “on the bandits”.
The depute went on, “The complainer felt personally responsible and is paying the money back out of her own pocket.”
Defence solicitor Jonathan Matheson-Dear said his client has a long-standing heroin problem.
He continued, “It is conceded that this is particularly distasteful crime given the impact on the vulnerable complainer.
“She has expressed extreme shame and remorse. The woman trusted the accused and that’s what makes this particularly despicable, that breach of trust.
“What she told the police was not true. In fact, she spent the money on drugs. She’s been a heroin addict since 2010.”
He added that Brown had recently had her benefits cut and could only afford to pay back £5 a fortnight.
However, Sheriff Craig McSherry said, “I regard this as a very, very serious breach of trust. It’s a disgraceful offence.” He jailed Brown for 10 months.