A callous pair of thieves preyed on a church volunteer’s generosity and raided her bank account of hundreds of pounds.
Opportunistic Angela Ritchie, 31, grabbed the woman’s handbag while she was queueing up to receive a food parcel from St George’s Church in Tillydrone.
Inside, she found a credit card and a PIN written down – and passed it to her boyfriend, 38-year-old Lee Cameron, who used it at a cash machine.
The pair, who have since split up, appeared in the dock together at Aberdeen Sheriff Court yesterday where they both admitted to their crimes.
Fiscal depute Alan Townsend said the church volunteer had “left the doors wide open”, encouraging anyone in need to come in for a food parcel.
The woman had left her handbag on a kitchen counter while she helped people, but soon discovered it had vanished.
However, the following day, while she was cancelling her cards, she noticed that £300 had been withdrawn from one of her accounts.
Ritchie was caught on CCTV while in the church, and Cameron was spotted on camera lifting the money, leading to their arrests.
Solicitor Peter Keene said mother-of-two Ritchie, of East Street in Johnshaven, had been taking Xanax and therefore had “no recollection” of stealing the bag.
He added: “Perhaps she was the instigator, but she certainly didn’t remove the cash.”
Sheriff Andrew Miller told Ritchie: “The fact you were under the influence of controlled drugs is not an excuse, but I accept it may go some way to explaining your conduct.”
Because of her relatively clean criminal background, Ritchie was ordered to carry out 90 hours of unpaid work in the next nine months.
Cameron, who lives on Hayton Road and had “by far the lengthier” of the two criminal records being considered, has to complete 120 hours within the same timeframe.