An Aberdeen woman offered to look after her elderly aunt’s finances before taking £7,500 in a “spectacular breach of trust”.
Rosemary Ewen or Gotts, known as Shirran, offered to take care of finances for her 77-year-old aunt following the death of her uncle.
But instead Shirran, 53, helped herself to thousands of pounds, making daily cash withdrawals – and even buying a car.
Fiscal depute Katy Begg told Aberdeen Sheriff Court the crime was uncovered after the pensioner’s carers became concerned about certain transactions.
She said: “She started to receive bills for things she had no knowledge of and that triggered an investigation.”
The offence took place between January 2015 and August 2016 at an address at Brimmond Court, Aberdeen, and elsewhere.
Ms Begg said: “A police financial analyst was instructed to carry out a forensic examination of the aunt’s banking records.
“It was noted there were significant changes to her banking habits.
“It was noted there had been large transfers of money from her account into the account of the accused, and a few other accounts of people known to be associated with the accused.
“It was established £7,500 had been obtained by the accused by fraud.”
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Ms Begg added: “She bought a car and the rest was cash withdrawals.
“For a period £300 was taken out of that account on a daily basis from various locations in Aberdeen.
“The aunt confirmed she had not withdrawn these sums.
“Further inquiries were made and it was ascertained a number of other accounts had been opened in her name and that numerous items had been purchased all of which she had no knowledge of.”
On August 31 2016 Shirran was cautioned and detained.
Shirran, of Kirkhill Road, Aberdeen, pled guilty to forming a fraudulent scheme, offering to look after her aunt’s finances then withdrawing cash, opening new bank accounts in her name, using her accounts to pay household and personal bills, and opening accounts with various companies including Littlewoods and Sky, and obtaining cash, goods and services totalling £7,500 by fraud.
Defence agent Bob Anderson said his client was “aghast” at the amount of money she had spent.
He said: “The background is Mrs Shirran did assist her aunt over the period in question and there were quite significant sums paid for refurbishing of the aunt’s address.
“It was one of these situations where over a period of time Mrs Shirran used money that she shouldn’t have done.
“She was somewhat aghast at how much was involved over that period of time.
“She did provide support to her aunt and I think the indication by her aunt when she endeavoured to retract matters was she didn’t want to get her niece into trouble.”
Sheriff Philip Mann deferred sentence until next month for reports to be prepared and told Shirran a jail sentence has not been ruled out.
He said: “This is a serious offence. It’s a gross and spectacular breach of trust.
“Despite the fact you’re a first offender I will need to consider all available disposals which could include a custodial sentence.”