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Wednesday, 08 January 2014

Convicted care worker refuses to do community service

Written by The Editorial Team

A care worker who robbed an elderly client has refused to carry out unpaid work in the community. Fiona Cummings, 45, declined to show up for work and claimed she did not like the language of the other offenders on the scheme.

She told Perth Sheriff Court yesterday that she felt out of place because 19 of the 20 people on the work programme were men and most were younger than her.

The court was told that she refused to do the work within days of being handed the 130-hour community-based sentence instead of being sent to jail.

She repeatedly phoned social work staff to protest about her work plan – and hurled abuse at them when they failed to move her from the group to which she had been assigned.

Solicitor Linda Clark said Cummings admitted breaching the community payback order by failing to turn up on three occasions between 22 August and 10 November last year.

Ms Clark said: “There were around 20 on the team and around 19 of them were male, leaving her as the only female. She was of the view there was some generally inappropriate chat within the team.

“She is a middle-aged lady and most of the people on the team were younger than her and perhaps inevitably there was a certain tone to the banter.

“Her abusive call came after she requested being moved to a more mixed team. She apologises for her language but it came after a number of calls and frustration on her part.”

Cummings was ordered to carry out 130 hours work in August after she admitted spending months stealing money from her 86-year-old client’s bank account.

The council carer was trusted to use her victim’s bank card but helped herself to £1,000.

Yesterday, Sheriff William Wood gave Cummings another chance to carry out the unpaid work but warned her that if she refused again then she would be sent to prison.