A CARER who stole money from a disabled woman during the pandemic to buy handbags was snared after shop staff checked CCTV footage.

Nicola Paterson was employed by a home support service in Wishaw, North Lanarkshire, which assists people to live independently.

The woman was expected to budget within her means, supported by her carer and a household expenses form was logged every week.

A colleague spotted two receipts, from March 2020, that were unaccounted for from Aldi and Tesco for two bags, priced £14.99 and £18.00.

She contacted the victim who is in a wheelchair and uses a backpack and said she had not purchased the bags. CCTV footage obtained by the stores matched a photograph on the carer’s social media account.

The victim contacted police when she was made aware of the theft and is said to have “cried for months” according to a report by the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC).

Paterson denied having any knowledge of the bags saying her life was “busy” at the time but evidence from the witness was said to be “credible and reliable”.

The SSSC said: “It was clear that the bags had been purchased with AA’s funds.

“You were the worker on duty who went to Tesco and Aldi for AA on the relevant dates.

“There was no-one else with your initials who could have completed the Household Expenses Sheet attaching the receipts.

“You had confirmed to ZZ (her colleague) that you were shopping for the service user on those days.

“There was no reason to disbelieve AA (the client).

“The description of the person who bought the goods on CCTV footage would fit with your description.

“On balance of probability, it was you who purchased the handbags using AA’s money.”

The SSSC said a removal order was the most appropriate sanction after such a significant breach of trust.