Bathgate care worker avoids jail over thefts

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A PREGNANT care worker who stole from the purses of two elderly women has narrowly escaped a jail sentence.

Stephanie Sutherland, 20, must carry out 170 hours of unpaid work within 12 months and repay the cash she stole.

Sutherland, of Bathgate, West Lothian, earlier admitted the theft of £190 from an 84-year-old who suffers poor health and is hooked up to an oxygen tank 24 hours a day.

She also admitted taking £200 from another woman in her 80s, who suffers from Multiple Sclerosis.

The offences took place between November 19 and 20 last year.

Sutherland – who is due to give birth in six weeks – was at the time employed by Unique Care Solutions.

Her solicitor, Raymond McMenamin, told Livingston Sheriff Court yesterday: “She is ashamed and embarrassed and fully intends to repay these ­victims.”

Sheriff Graeme Warner imposed a compensation order for £390 on Sutherland to enable her victims to get their money back.

He also told Sutherland that the thefts involved a grave breach of trust.