Comment: Common thread is the abuse of trust

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The stories which we feature today where elderly and vulnerable people in our area have been targeted are shocking. The coincidence of all three coming to light on the same day is hopefully only that.

But it does serve to highlight important issues around how we care for and protect our elderly.

The three cases are very different in terms of seriousness. Two of them have resulted in court action, the other not in criminal action but the suspension of a care professional by an industry body. But each will almost certainly have had a profound impact on those involved.

Put simply, each involves the abuse of a relationship of trust.

In the case of former councillor Gordon Beurskens, he obtained £77,580 of an old couple’s savings. Scott MacGregor’s theft of just £40 was not on the same scale but devastating nonetheless because it was committed against someone in a vulnerable position who had placed his trust in him.

Morag Pacey’s abuse of trust meanwhile was not for financial gain at all but simply involved her unacceptable treatment of those in her care. All three people we feature today have been punished.

There are many many dedicated people working with and for our elderly across the Lothians and it would be wrong to suggest otherwise. Today we highlight these cases in the hope that they are – and will continue to be – in the minority.

Smiles for miles

they may only be seven and five, but Anir and Massine Bekkout have performed what is one the best examples of community spirit in the city. They brought smiles to the faces of motorists stuck in huge traffic jams by going window to window handing out free biscuits and water. Well done to them, but let’s hope their services are not required on a regular basis.