A former Aberdeen care home assistant manager has been fined £400 after stealing cash from a resident with mental health problems.
Vicki Cumming, 30, was acting assistant manager at Balnagask House in Torry when she used a resident’s bank card to withdraw £550 between April 26 and June 19 last year.
Cumming had previously pleaded guilty to stealing the cash, and appeared at Aberdeen Sheriff Court yesterday for sentencing where she was told her behaviour had been “inexplicable”.
Fiscal depute Kelly Mitchell told the court: “At the time of these incidents she was working as acting assistant manager.
“As part of her role there she would care for residents and would have access to private data.
“The owner of the bank card was someone who was staying at the residential care home.
“He is the owner of the bank account and suffers from mental health problems.”
She added on July 27 staff noticed “discrepancies” in the resident’s account, three “unexplained withdrawals”.
An internal investigation was launched, and on August 1 Cumming phoned a manager and told them the resident’s bank had confirmed it was an “admin error” and the money had been repaid.
She added: “There were suspicions about the explanation by the accused.”
After being invited into the manager’s office, Cumming stated she had made the withdrawals on behalf of a friend who was in “financial difficulties”, and the police were contacted.
Michael Burnett, Cumming’s solicitor, said: “She had a friend who was in short-term financial difficulties.
“She took the money that she had access to with the aim of helping her friend and then repaying it at some point in the future.
“That brought 13 years of employment to a very swift end.”
He confirmed Cumming had repaid the money.
Sheriff Sukhwinder Gill told Cumming, whose address was given in court papers as Kirkhill Road, Aberdeen: “Your behaviour was inexplicable. I have no idea why you would steal money and give it to a friend.”
Sandra Ross, managing director of Bon Accord Care – which runs the care home – said: “In August 2017 our internal processes discovered an anomaly with a service user’s finances, and we launched an immediate investigation.
“As part of this process we informed the police and the required regulatory bodies.
“Additionally, the monetary deficit was resolved.
“I remain confident in our procedures to identify such situations and we will always act swiftly and robustly to address these.”