Appeal dismissed after carer stole from dying man

Thief Michelle Macrae will not be able to return to her job working with vulnerable people after the court threw out her appeal against her conviction. Picture: Greg Macvean
Thief Michelle Macrae will not be able to return to her job working with vulnerable people after the court threw out her appeal against her conviction. Picture: Greg Macvean
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A CARE worker who tended to a housebound, terminally ill man while stealing money out of his account has lost her appeal against her conviction.

Michelle Macrae had been trusted with wheelchair-bound Scott Paterson’s cashcard and pin number as he recovered from a second stroke.

Today, the victim’s daughter, Ashley, branded Macrae “disgusting” over her appeal.

Macrae lost her job at a care home in the Capital in the wake of the conviction, and a successful appeal would have allowed her to return to work in the same sector.

Ms Paterson said that she was “glad other victims are still protected” after the appeal bid failed on Thursday.

Macrae, 45, was supposed to buy food for Mr Paterson, who was a family friend, from his weekly pension payments, but she stole money as well.

She was only caught when her victim was taken to ­hospital and Ms Paterson found slips for the fraudulent withdrawals in his Granton flat. Ashley, 24, said: “I only found out she was appealing last Friday through family in Edinburgh. I was heartbroken that she was even allowed to appeal. I thought the whole thing was over and we could just try and put it behind us.

“I spoke to the procurator fiscal and was told that Michelle was basically ­appealing because she did not believe there was enough ­evidence against her for a conviction.

“I’m so pleased that the court has made the right decision. Michelle had been working at a care home, but she lost her job because she no longer had a clean Disclosure Scotland check.

“If she had won this appeal, then she could’ve been back working with vulnerable people and it could’ve happened again. I’m glad other potential victims are still protected.

“I was worried that she was appealing so she could work again as a carer.”

In November, Macrae was sentenced to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work following a trial held at Edinburgh ­Sheriff Court.

Ms Paterson, a dental nurse who now lives in England, added: “It would’ve been disgusting to see her cleared after the way she treated my dad and what our family went through.

“She left my father a broken man when he died.

“Our family went through two years of hell. By appealing it was like she wanted to reopen it again for us. It showed disrespect for my father, as if he meant nothing and what she did meant nothing. She’s only looking our for herself.

“People like her are the scum of the earth.” Mr Paterson suffered another stroke in March 2009, just days after his 60th birthday, and was rushed to the Western General Hospital.

After being released, Mr Paterson employed Macrae to help with his cleaning and shopping for £60 a week from the start of 2010.

The trial heard that Mr Paterson, a retired merchant seaman who received a £180 a week pension, was again taken to hospital in April 2010 suffering from an abscess to his ankle.

His daughter travelled to the Capital to be with her family, and while visiting his flat in Wardie Place East she found Post Office receipts for withdrawals from his account which made her suspicious.

Macrae, of Ferry Gait Walk, Muirhouse, had been on trial for stealing £1500 between January and April 2010.

She was found guilty of a charge of stealing an “unknown sum” of money from Mr Paterson.

An Appeal Court spokeswoman confirmed that Macrae’s appeal against conviction was refused following a hearing in Edinburgh.

Macrae refused to comment on the case.