Falkirk woman embezzled more than £25,000 from 81-year-old uncle

A Falkirk woman who embezzled more than £25,000 from her uncle has been spared imprisonment.

Friday, 11th June 2021, 4:45 pm

Caroline Welsh, 58, took the five-figure sum over a two-year period while holding a power of attorney for the man, then aged 81.

Welsh, Freemont, The Pleasance, admitted embezzling in excess of £25,000 between November 3, 2015 and September 12, 2017 while in a position of trust.

She appeared at Falkirk Sheriff Court yesterday where her defence solicitor explained difficulty with Welsh’s employment “led to the commission of her offence”.

Caroline Welsh avoided imprisonment during an appearance at Falkirk Sheriff Court. Picture: Michael Gillen.
Caroline Welsh avoided imprisonment during an appearance at Falkirk Sheriff Court. Picture: Michael Gillen.

The court was told the first-time offender has fully repaid the sum of money.

The lawyer said: “She’s aware this is an abuse of her position of trust over an extended period of time and accepts that.

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“She hasn’t come to the attention of police during the period since.

"She’s in full-time employment which she’ll lose if she’s sent to prison.

"There was a time when she was unable to maintain consistent work.

“There’s never any suggestion she was living an extravagant lifestyle. It was a constant drip.”

Sheriff Derek Hamilton intervened and said: “She did get new doors in the house.”

The solicitor said: “This has been conduct she’s ashamed of.”

Addressing Welsh, Sheriff Hamilton said: “All embezzlements are some sort of breach of trust. This is a gross breach of trust.

“The fact there has been repayment, I’m obliged to take that into account. That simply gets the victim back to where they were in the first place.”

Welsh was handed a six-month, 8pm-8am restriction of liberty order.

She will also be supervised for 12 months and must complete 200 hours’ unpaid work in two years as an alternative to custody.

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