Carer who stole from cancer sufferer avoids jail

Livingston Sheriff Court heard Scott MacGregor stole from the patient. Picture: Gordon McBrearty
Livingston Sheriff Court heard Scott MacGregor stole from the patient. Picture: Gordon McBrearty
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A CANCER victim’s daughter has told of her anger after her dad’s callous carer, who was caught on camera stealing his cash, was spared jail.

Bill Combes, 85, died on Saturday, just days before 42-year-old carer Scott MacGregor appeared in court, where he admitted stealing £40.

He was caught after Mr Combes’ suspicious daughter Barbara McGinty and her husband, Robert, hid an iPad behind a photo frame in their living room while they were out.

After MacGregor was given just 135 hours of community service yesterday, Mrs McGinty said: “My dad wanted to come to court himself and always thought MacGregor would go to prison.

“He was speaking about it on Saturday just before he died. It was never about the money to dad – it was about the trust he put in him.”

Mrs McGinty’s suspicions were aroused when her dad started asking for more money to be withdrawn from his bank account.

When they played back the iPad footage, they saw MacGregor pocketing £40 from his patient’s wallet.

Livingston Sheriff Court heard MacGregor, who worked for Carluke company Hazelhead Homecare, knew the pensioner kept cash concealed down the side of his padded chair.

MacGregor, from Blackburn, West Lothian, pleaded guilty to a token charge of stealing £40 on November 20 last year.

He committed the offence during one of his frequent visits to the victim’s home in Ravenswood Rise, Livingston.

Passing sentence, Sheriff Douglas Kinloch told MacGregor: “When people are trusted to look after elderly patients on their own, their families must be able to trust them completely

“That’s why charges of this nature will always be treated as serious, as a breach of that trust.

“In your case – given the small amount of money and the fact that you’ve lost your job as a result of this – you’ll carry out unpaid work.”

Mrs McGinty, 55, said her family was “disgusted” at the lenient sentence. She added: “We know he lost his job as a result of this but he should have gone to prison. Who knows how many other vulnerable elderly people might have been put at risk?”