Carer found guilty of theft

Selkirk Sheriff Court.
Selkirk Sheriff Court.

A carer was caught on camera stealing money from the handbag of an elderly woman she was looking after.

Relatives of the frail pensioner suspected cash was going missing from her sheltered housing home in Melrose, so they set up cameras and caught Hellen Johnson, 40, going into the woman’s bag and removing £35.

Police were called, and as officers viewed the CCTV evidence in another room, the cash turned up underneath a table where the bag had been sitting.

The officers insisted the money was not on the floor when they first arrived at the property.

At a trial at Selkirk Sheriff Court, fiscal Tessa Bradley told Johnson: “You tried to get away with it by dropping it on the floor when the police had their backs turned.”

When she was first quizzed by police, Johnson, also employed as a psychiatric nurse with the NHS in Glasgow, said she had never gone into the handbag and had no reason to, but when confronted with the CCTV evidence, she accepted that she had gone into the bag, saying she needed to find a key to lock her client’s door.

Tanzanian-born Johnson, of Fairnington Cottages, Kelso, said she suffered from mental health problems and she remained adamant that she had not taken the £35 despite the CCTV evidence.

But Sheriff Derrick McIntyre did not believe her version of events and found her guilty of stealing the money from the property in Priorwood Court, Melrose, on January 19.

Sentence was deferred until October 12 for background reports.