Dec 9 2011 byCourt Reporter, Stirling Observer Friday
A SUPPORT worker who fleeced cash from a woman with learning disabilities appeared at Stirling Sheriff Court for sentencing this week.
The court heard how Christopher Shade (28) had been employed at the time as a personal supporter with Enable Scotland.
In the course of his work he had been supporting the woman, who stayed in supported accommodation in Stirling.
But in a shocking breach of trust, Shade was actually taking money from her, embezzling a total of £330 between November 18, 2010 and June 22 this year.
Fiscal depute Lindsey Brooks said: “There was an internal audit of cash records and a discrepancy was found. The accused was the person who signed the cash voucher.”
On being challenged about this Shade told bosses “I think you know it was me”.
Mrs Brooks added: “He went on to provide information. He said he had financial difficulties and these had clouded his judgment.
“He said that he felt disgusted with himself and would pay the money back.”
Shade was suspended and police called.
He later pleaded guilty to embezzling the money from the woman while he was acting as her personal supporter and sentence was deferred until Wednesday of this week for reports.
In court, solicitor Ken Dalling confirmed that all of the money had been paid back and that this had been the original cash taken, Shade not having by then used it for “personal benefit”.
He said that Shade had also managed to find alternative employment since committing the offence.
Mr Dalling added: “This is a serious matter which has had a huge effect in this man’s life.
“He feels that he has let himself, those for whom he was supposed to be caring and his family down.
“This has had a profound effect on him.”
The court heard that Shade, from Camelon, had no previous convictions and had pleaded guilty at an early stage.
Sheriff Ian Anderson imposed a community payback order for the offence, under which Shade will have to complete 60 hours of unpaid work. This was reduced from 90 hours due to Shade’s guilty plea.