A CARER who stole thousands of pounds from the woman she was supposed to be looking after has been placed on a tag.

Joan Mitchell, 54, of Foot Place, Rosyth, gambled £4,000 on a debit card belonging to the victim and also stole some of her jewellery.

She previously admitted that between April 24 and May 5, being the carer to a female who was unable to tend to herself, she presented a debit card in the woman’s name to online gambling sites 32 Red, Bet Victor, Betway, Ladbrokes, Jackpot Joy, Pink Casino and Gala Interactive, pretended she was the owner of the card and obtained betting services of £4,000 by fraud.

Mitchell also admitted that between March 13 and May 13, at an address in Rosyth, she stole jewellery from the woman.

Sentencing had been delayed to allow her to make effective recompense.

Appearing at Dunfermline Sheriff Court on Wednesday, Mitchell's solicitor, Alexander Flett, said she had money available to pay the money back.

Sheriff Alastair Brown ordered her to pay the £4,000 to Santander within a week and placed her on a restriction of liberty order for four months.

He told her: "I recognise you had a problem but this was despicable behaviour."

A previous court hearing heard that Mitchell was employed by the victim, who had suffered from a stroke 12 years ago and used a wheelchair, to help with her day-to-day care.

The woman had trusted the accused with her debit card and pin. But when she completed some checks on her bank balance, she was shocked to see there was only £3 instead of the expected £4,000.

Statements showed multiple transactions with gambling sites and the police were contacted.

The victim also realised that various items from her jewellery box were missing and she had last seen them some three months previously.

When police interviewed Mitchell, she broke down admitting that she had committed the crime. She told them she had a gambling addiction and it had destroyed her life.