Martin Lacey used a bank card belonging to his mother’s uncle to go on a £5000 spending spree.
The shamed 20-year-old racked up the bill buying goods on line and drawing cash from an ATM between September 12 and October 4.
His crime only came to light after the bank contacted his mum, who as the pensioner’s niece had power of attorney over his affairs after he suffered a stroke and had the card and pin number in her possession, to alert her it had been used.
At Falkirk Sheriff Court last Thursday Lacey, from 74 Seaforth Road, Langlees, was placed on a supervised community order for eight months and ordered to complete 160 hours on unpaid work in that time for the fraud.
Sheriff Derek Livingston also told him to pay £5000 compenation to his victim and warned Lacey he was lucky not to be going to jail.
The court was told Lacey has saved £2000 and intends to pay the rest back at £100 a week.
Sheriff Livingston told him: “It’s only because you have no previous convictions and I accept you have shown genuine remorse that I don’t have to impose a custodial sentence. I’m also aware you have worked hard to get this money together.”
Procurator fiscal Graham McLachlan said Lacey was staying in the family home in Falkirk at the time of the offence and knew where the card and pin number were kept.
The fiscal told the court: “After being advised by the bank of the activity on the card she reported the matter to the police and he admitted the spending to them.”
Defence lawyer Murray Aitken said; “He can’t provide a good excuse or any explanation. He confessed to his mother and the police and co-operated fully with them.
“He does have a genuine understanding of the gravity of the situation. He has the support of some of his family and he intends to pay the money back as quickly as he can.”
Lacey agreed the first £2000 will be paid back to his great uncle within seven days.