Support worker struck off for stealing money from pensioners

Gordon Hamilton pinched £1820 from a 76-year-old and £180 from a 99-year-old.

Support worker struck off for stealing money from pensioners iStock
Thief: Gordon Hamilton stole £1820 from a 76-year-old and £180 from a 99-year-old.

A support worker who stole money from two pensioners has been struck off the care register.

Gordon Hamilton repeatedly withdrew money via an ATM from a 76-year-old service user’s bank account. In less than a month, he pocketed £1820.

Hamilton also stole £180 from a 99-year-old service user.

The thefts occurred between June 1 and 26, 2019, while Hamilton was working as a home carer in Kilmarnock, East Ayrshire, for Constance Care Ltd.

Following Hamilton’s conviction at Kilmarnock Sheriff Court in June last year, the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) found his fitness to practise impaired.

A removal order came into effect last Wednesday.

In a report, the SSSC said: “You stole £1820 from a service user’s bank account and £180 from another service user.

“Your role is to care for vulnerable people, and you were put in a position of trust to carry out this role in service users’ homes.

“Your actions abused that trust and caused, or were likely to cause, emotional and financial harm to the service users.”

The SSSC branded Hamilton’s behaviour “deliberate and dishonest” and said there was “significant risk” it could be repeated despite a lack of any past disciplinary record.

The watchdog highlighted several factors of concern, noting: “Theft of money from two vulnerable people in a care at home setting where they should have been safe and protected is very serious.

“You have failed to uphold the standards of practice set out in the codes of practice which presents a risk to public protection and damage to the reputation of the profession.

“Such behaviour is fundamentally incompatible with professional registration.

“The behaviour formed a pattern of deliberate dishonesty over a period of approximately three to four weeks.

“The service users and/or their families are likely to have been financially harmed and significantly distressed by your behaviour.

“You have not provided any comments to SSSC nor indicated that you should have behaved differently.”

The watchdog concluded that a removal order was the “most appropriate sanction”.