A mother and daughter who stole from an 86-year-old for a £2,500 spending spree were jailed for a total of 12 months yesterday.
A sheriff said that the way Janice Duncan, 64, and her 27-year-old daughter, Hayley Duncan, treated 86-year-old Patrick Cain was “the worst type of abuse imaginable”.
Fort William Sheriff Court was told the women befriended the pensioner then used his bank card to go on a spending spree.
Mr Cain when asked about the crime said the women were “evil, lying thieves”.
The pair admitted using Mr Cain’s debit card to obtain a total of £400 in cash from ATMs and to order goods online worth almost £2,100.
Janice Duncan was jailed for five months and her daughter for seven months.
The court heard that they bought fitness equipment, women’s clothing, jewellery and home furnishings.
Mr Cain, who lives in Fort William, was unaware of what was happening until he discovered his bank account was empty and he received calls and letters from debt collectors.
He told the Press and Journal after an earlier court appearance: “I’m very disappointed with the pair of them. I’m very, very hurt with the carry on.
“Janice was here every day and Hayley used to visit a lot too. I thought they were helping me, but it turned out they were helping themselves.
“Janice knew I had not much money and yet they went to the hole in the wall and pinched it.”
He added that, when things started to go missing, the two women began telling people he had dementia, which was untrue.
“There are just three words to describe them. They are evil, lying thieves,” said Mr Cain.
Sheriff Richard Davidson deferred sentencing until yesterday for background reports.
He said: “This is the worst type of abuse imaginable, taking advantage of an 86-year-old man who thought you were his friends, who thought it was all right to let you into his house and that no harm would come to him as a result of it. Instead, the two of you have greedily benefited in the way set out in these charges.”
The Duncans, both of 2 Iona Court, Heathercroft Drive, Fort William, admitted using Mr Cain’s personal details to order items online on six occasions between January 27 and March 27, 2012.
Hayley Duncan also admitted using his bank card to get a total of £300 from a cashpoint machine and Janice Duncan admitted using it to get £100 in cash.
Fiscal depute Eilidh Robertson said Mr Cain contacted police when the situation came to light and went to the Citizen’s Advice Bureau for help with handling the debts.
She said: “He was terribly upset and clearly devastated by both the letters and by the money which had been taken from his account.”