AN ARDROSSAN woman who swindled £12,000 from her own mother has been warned she will have to repay the money.

Wendy Keir moved her ailing mother, Mary Campbell, in to a care home before selling her house and squandering thousands of pounds of the money on holidays and shopping.

Kilmarnock Sheriff Court, pictured, heard the elderly woman, who has since passed away, lived in Elgin and was moved to Ardrossan to live with Keir. But before long her mother’s needs were too much for Keir and she moved her into South Beach Care Home – paying for her care from the sale of her Elgin home.

However the court was told 54-year-old Keir pilfered £12,000 of the house sale cash on holidays, shopping and trips to England to visit her daughter between September 2015 and March 2017.

Her lawyer told the court: “Her mother was from Elgin. She lived there in that area up until her health deteriorated.Ms Keir was an extremely good carer for her mother. She regularly received calls from her mother saying she felt isolated. She moved her to live with Ms Keir and then was transferred to a care home when she was diagnosed with dementia. As Ms Keir’s health deteriorated and she was unable to care for her mother.

“Her home in Elgin was sold and a large amount of money was used for her care home and for Wendy Keir to assist paying for holidays and shopping and to visit her daughter down south.

“She accepts the amount of money, she accepts her guilt and she accepts that she should have been the better person and refused her mother’s whims and that’s where a lot of this expenditure went.”

The court was told Keir, who used walking sticks to enter the dock, “is remorseful” and is terrified of being jailed.

Her lawyer said: “She is extremely fearful of a custodial sentence. She is remorseful. Part of the guilt has arisen from the fact that she has betrayed the one person who was a constant in her life and she has no real way or restoring that given that she has passed away.”

Sheriff Elizabeth McFarlane deferred sentence for six months and warned Keir to “start saving”.

She said: “I want her to pay the money back. You say the person she has betrayed has passed away but she has siblings and they are entitled to something.”

“Have no doubt this money will be repaid. You benefited from it so you will repay it, so come up with a scheme otherwise I will come up with one for you.”