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Carer used elderly couple’s card to buy food at Asda

Laura Allan has been removed from the care register for her misconduct.

Fraud: Laura Allan used a couple's bank card to buy groceries.
Fraud: Laura Allan used a couple's bank card to buy groceries. Pixabay

A carer has been struck off for using a bank card belonging to an elderly couple she was looking after to pay for her groceries.

Laura Allan found herself in court for the fraud and has now been removed from the care register for her misconduct.

Allan was reported to authorities when the couple, who were in their late 70s at the time of the incident, spotted the transaction on their bank statement.

As well as buying £12.20 worth of items at the Asda superstore in Bridge of Don, Aberdeen, she also fraudulently obtained an additional £40 through the cashback service.

The incident occurred on April 24, 2018.

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In September last year, Allan pleaded guilty at Aberdeen Sheriff Court and was ordered to be of good behaviour for six months.

Following Allan's conviction, a Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) panel found her "fitness to practise" impaired.

'You have been convicted of fraud involving you obtaining a sum of money belonging to a service user for your own personal use.'
Scottish Social Services Council panel

The panel stated: "Social service workers are expected to act with honesty and integrity at all times, both inside and outside work.

"You have been convicted of fraud involving you obtaining a sum of money belonging to a service user for your own personal use.

"Your actions are a serious abuse of the position of trust you held and would have put the service user at risk of financial harm.

"You exploited [the service users] and your role as their carer for your own financial gain. Such behaviour is fundamentally incompatible with being a social services worker."

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Despite paying back the money and demonstrating "regret and remorse", the panel stated that Allan's behaviour was a "deliberate action" rather than a "genuine mistake".

As she has not worked in the care sector since May 2018, the SSSC also highlighted that Allan had not been given an "opportunity to demonstrate good practice" to indicate a low risk of repetition.

'If the behaviour was to be repeated there would be a significant risk of vulnerable service users coming to harm.'
Scottish Social Services Council panel

The panel added: "If the behaviour was to be repeated there would be a significant risk of vulnerable service users coming to harm.

"Even if there is a low risk of repetition, your behaviour is so serious and the risk of service users coming to harm as a result is so high that any chance of your actions being repeated must be avoided if possible.

"There is therefore an on-going public protection risk."

Allan's removal from the register came into effect on Saturday.

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