A DISHONEST care worker has been struck off after demanding an OAP’s bank card and then withdrawing money – while hiding from the cashpoint camera.
Catriona Dey formed a close relationship with the sheltered housing resident, claiming she was “like the daughter he never had”.
But Miss Dey abused her position of trust to allow herself and others access to the pensioner’s home and belongings after he died.
An unidentified individual even took a ring from the home which had been worn by the pensioner’s late wife.
Miss Dey, 41, from Hamilton, South Lanarkshire, was at the time a student carer, working as a relief housing support officer for North Lanarkshire Council.
Her conduct at the Roadside sheltered housing complex in Cumbernauld, which is managed by the council, resulted in her facing 21 charges before her professional watchdog.
The Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC), following a three-day hearing in Dundee last month, revealed in a report published today (thu) that she had been struck off.
Shocking allegations were made at the hearing that the pensioner, named as David Cummings, 68, was propped up in his coffin, wearing a baseball cap and sunglasses and with a cigarette placed in his mouth, at a “party” to celebrate his life.
Mr Cummings, who died of cancer and had not had contact with two of his daughters for 20 years, is referred to in the SSSC report and “Resident A”.
The finding of facts published today states: “You demanded that Resident A’s carer hand over Resident A’s bank card to you when you were not entitled to do so.
“You obtained two balance slips from Residents A’s bank account when you were not entitled to do so.
“You did assist ZZ, a friend of Resident A, in withdrawing money from Resident A’s bank account and on one occasion input Resident A’s PIN to a cash machine.”
Miss Dey failed to tell her bosses she was aware that XX, also a friend of Mr Cumming’s, was the beneficiary of his will.
She did not inform anyone that a number of individuals had visited Mr Cumming’s house after he died despite not being entitled to do so.
And she failed to tell her line manager that an unnamed individual had taken Mr Cumming’s late wife’s ring.
The report reveals that Mr Cummings had two bank accounts, one of which had a balance of £10,000. The report does not reveal how much was withdraw or for what purpose.
It adds that Miss Dey “stood clear of CCTV when withdrawing money from Resident A’s bank account because ‘you know how these things work’ or words to that effect”.
In striking her off, the SSC stated that Miss Dey’s behaviour “was fundamentally incompatible with your continued registration on the register”.
They accused her of a “a serious abuse of trust which had occurred over a period of time”.
The SSSC concluded: “Allied to all of this was an element of dishonesty resulting in loss to the public purse. In the round there was a pattern of behaviour which was either dishonest or deception.”
Miss Dey, who did not attend the SSSC hearing or provide any evidence, also failed to tell her employers that she was convicted of falsely claiming £8,500 in Disability Living Allowance in March 2016 at Airdrie Sheriff Court.
The panel also found that Miss Dey failed to reduce the risk of financial abuse to Mr Cumming’s estate following his death.
She did not report to her line manager that an individual, known as XX and believed to be Miss Dey’s partner, had a key to the deceased’s property.
A North Lanarkshire Council spokeswoman said: “The individual ceased employment with North Lanarkshire Council in April 2014.
“The council notified the SSSC and police of the matters it had been investigating.
“We also co-operated fully with a subsequent DWP investigation regarding this person in respect of benefit fraud.
“All recruitment processes had been fully carried out regarding this person prior to their employment with North Lanarkshire Council, including the required Disclosure Scotland check.”