A disgraceful daughter helped herself to £50,000 from her ailing mum’s bank account while acting as the elderly woman’s power of attorney.
Embezzler Anne Collier, while resident at St Clair, John O’ Groats, defrauded her mother while running a dress-making and gift shop.
Collier, 65, travelled to banks in Caithness and Sutherland to abuse her position of trust after being put in charge of her poorly mum’s finances on April 4 2012.
The elderly woman’s health had started to decline due to vascular dementia, so she moved from her Cornwall home into a private care home whose services were financed by the almost £80,000 sale of her house.
Collier’s soon-to-be victim was also receiving a monthly income of over £1,100 through her Royal Air Force and state pensions.
How Wick woman Anne Collier was became suspected of fraud
Later, in November of the same year, Collier took responsibility for her mother’s Hampshire care home fees and set up a standing order to pay for them.
However, between October 2013 and June 2015, only five payments were made.
Collier was repeatedly contacted about the arrears without action and a debt of £30,000 accumulated.
In May 2014, Hampshire County Council reported concerns about Collier’s irresponsible conduct to the police.
The local authority had previously contacted the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG).
Mrs Hall then died in 2017.
Anne Collier had been accused of taking even more money from her unsuspecting mum
Collier, now living in Macrae Street, Wick, had first been accused of embezzling £62,000 but later pled guilty to the lesser fraud charge of embezzling £50,000.
Fiscal David Barclay told Wick Sheriff Court: “The OPG concluded that Collier had mismanaged Mrs Hall’s estate and the accused’s power of attorney was revoked and an alternative appointment was made”.
Outlining police involvement in the case, Mr Barclay explained the outcome of investigations into Collier’s personal and business banking accounts.
Wick Sheriff Court cages Collier for turning to embezzlement to fix ‘dire’ debts
The probes revealed the accused had transferred money from her mother’s bank account into her own account.
She’d been using the cash to pay her own bills, it was revealed in court.
Mrs Hall benefited from some of the cash but not the £50,000 that Collier had misappropriated.
The accused told police officers that her financial circumstances were “dire” and she owed money “everywhere” to the total of between £9,000 and £10,000.
Defence Solicitor Fiona MacDonald appealed to Sheriff Neil Wilson not to jail her client, although she acknowledged a prison sentence was a real possibility.
But Sheriff Wilson decided a prison sentence was unavoidable and decided to lock up the dishonest woman for a year.