A CARER who stole two Christmas gift cards from the home of a person she was looking after has been struck off the care register.

Diane Rodger appeared at Dunfermline Sheriff Court in August and admitted stealing the gift cards at an address in Crossgates in December last year.

The Scottish Social Services Council have now ruled that Rodger's fitness to practise was impaired because of the conviction.

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The decision report stated: "Social service workers are expected to uphold the law and not to engage in criminal behaviour that may call into question their suitability to be registered with the SSSC.

"Your conviction shows a disregard for the law that raises concerns about your suitability to work within the social care profession.

"Theft from a service user is not behaviour that would be expected from a person registered with the SSSC and risks bringing into disrepute the social services profession."

The watchdog said Rodger's behaviour was "deliberate and showed a contempt for the law" and abused the trust placed in her.

During the hearing at Dunfermline Sheriff Court, the court heard that Rodger was employed by Fife Council as a carer which took her into the home of the victim, a 63-year-old man with various health problems.

Rodger was not one of his normal carers but was covering there at the time.

The man had bought gift cards for his four regular carers from a local supermarket in the run-up to Christmas. He handed over two of them and had left the other two waiting for the workers when they came to his home with their names on them.

These two £25 gift cards disappeared and inquiries were carried out. CCTV was checked at the supermarket and showed a woman, identified as Rodger, using the two gift cards to make purchases.

Sheriff Charles Lugton ordered Rodger to pay £50 compensation and fined her £640.