Grandmother ‘was robbed by friend’

Joan Gilchrist money stolen out of her account with her bankcard by Harry Jarvis and Rita Heyster.
Joan Gilchrist money stolen out of her account with her bankcard by Harry Jarvis and Rita Heyster.

A PEEBLES grandmother has claimed she was scammed out of £2,000 by Rita Heyster and Harry Jarvis while she was suffering from lung cancer.

Joan Gilchrist of Eliot’s Park said Heyster, a close friend,and her lover Jarvis used her bank card to take the four-figure sum in 2008.

Heyster, originally from the Tweeddale town, was convicted of helping murderer Jarvis hide his wife’s body under floorboards at his Bathgate home in 2009.

Mrs Gilchrist, 73, had known Heyster for four years while she lived in Peebles. Heyster, 57, often popped over to help the pensioner if she was ill and needed shopping. Mrs Gilchrist trusted her enough to hand over her debit card on several occasions to pay for goods.

However, Mrs Gilchrist says she noticed a difference once her friend met Jarvis on the internet, after the death of Heyster’s husband, Robert, in 2004.

Mrs Gilchrist told TheSouthern: “She was great until she met him. He would come down to Peebles for short visits and then would go away again.

“I kept saying to her to get rid of him but she would only say she loved him.”

The pair’s friendship ended when Mrs Gilchrist was struck down by illness, and Heyster offered again to do shopping with her friend’s bank card.

Instead, Mrs Gilchrist alleges, £2,000 was taken from her account by Heyster and Jarvis.

The grandmother of six added: “I wasn’t keeping well at the time. I thought I had flu but I later discovered it was cancer.

“When I asked for the card back, Rita said Harry had it. That is when I noticed the money was missing but I felt so stupid for trusting her that I did not report it to the police.

“She wrote a letter asking for forgiveness from jail but I threw it in the bucket.

“I have written off the money – I do not expect to get it back. When he is doing time and she is facing jail also, I cannot see me getting any of the cash back.”