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Woman paid for fluffy handcuffs with cash stolen from blind and disabled mother-in-law

Dunfermline Sheriff Court.
Dunfermline Sheriff Court.

A blind and disabled pensioner had money stolen from her bank account by the daughter-in-law she paid to look after her.

The victim, Hazel Goodall, 84, from High Valleyfield, is registered blind, in a wheelchair and hard of hearing.

Her daughter-in-law, Mary Goodall, 58, of Dunimarle Street, High Valleyfield, denied stealing from her between August 6 2014 and December 19 2016.

She was found guilty following a trial at Dunfermline Sheriff Court.

The trial heard Mrs Goodall became suspicious when told there was no money in her bank to pay for Christmas presents.

She went through bank statements with other family members and discovered payments for a coffee machine, golfing equipment and a Netflix account.

The OAP added: “There was seemingly also a pair of furry handcuffs I had paid for. So somebody was having a good time but it wasn’t me.”

The trial heard her daughter-in-law received £100 a week for looking after her and was given the pensioner’s bank card to pay for her weekly shopping. However, money was also being taken out for payments she knew nothing about.

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Mrs Goodall said she and a friend had gone on a holiday in Corfu which she thought was being paid for by her daughter-in-law. However, it turned out the money had come out of the OAP’s account.

The court heard she had paid £5,000 towards a granddaughter’s wedding and gave her son £2,000 to have his car repaired. She was fully aware of these payments.

“I like to be good to them but I’m not a stupid woman,” she said.

“I feel stupid sitting here today because I feel they’re taking every last bit of my energy.”

Mrs Goodall said she was not aware of money being withdrawn from ATMs when she was in Corfu. “I’ve never used one of those machines. I wouldn’t know how to,” she added.

The victim’s daughter Alison Anderson, 59, told the court of the effect on her mum when the theft came to light.

“When we were in the bank she was in shock. She couldn’t believe the amount of money that had been taken. She was on her hands and knees that night being physically sick,” she said.

Asked by depute fiscal Dev Kapadia if any money had been repaid, Mrs Anderson said: “Not a penny. There’s not even been an apology. I don’t go near them.”

Sheriff Craig McSherry said it seemed clear that there were unauthorised withdrawals from Mrs Goodall’s account and he found Mary Goodall guilty.

He fined her £750 and ordered her to pay £750 compensation.

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