A serial offender who carried out the “despicable and mean” act of befriending a pensioner with dementia so she could steal from his pension has been spared jail.
Jayne Reid latched-onto her 87-year-old victim and persuaded him to invite her back to his home in the Insch area where she repaid his generous nature by robbing him.
Aberdeen Sheriff Court heard the callous 52-year-old, from Aberdeenshire, repeatedly sneaked into the man’s bedroom to pilfer hundreds of pounds from a drawer.
She was only caught out when first the man’s son and then his cleaner – who knew he kept the money to pay her in a drawer – noticed it had been emptied of funds.
Though they initially thought little of it, the man’s relatives soon became suspicious as they noticed Reid loitering around outside the property in the company of an unknown man and decided to inform the police.
Reid, who the court heard had struggled with alcohol abuse for some time, was detained a short time later and made a full confession to the police.
She told officers she had stolen the money on “two or three occasions” and her reply to caution and charge was a simple “guilty as charged.”
Reid appeared for sentencing yesterday, with the court told she had numerous previous convictions dating back to 1991.
Defence agent David Sutherland said was sorry for her actions.
He said: “It is a very despicable and mean crime for her to have become involved in.
“She accepts full responsibility for her behaviour and is thoroughly ashamed.”
He said his client had a problem with alcohol which she recognised she needed to confront, adding that she was willing to pay compensation to her victim at a rate of £100 per month.
Sheriff Sukhwinder Gill told her: “Mr Sutherland has described this crime as despicable and mean and I could not have put it better myself.
“You befriended an 87-year-old man who trusted you and invited you to his home. You betrayed that trust by stealing money from him on a least two occasions if not three.
“This would normally attract a custodial sentence and you have convictions going back to 1991, but there are gaps in your offending.”
Those gaps in offending were eventually what persuaded the sheriff to stay his hand as he placed Reid, of Foundland Crescent in Insch, under supervision for a year.
He also ordered her to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work, attend for alcohol treatment and pay her victim £500 compensation.