AN ARDROSSAN woman who swindled £12,000 from her own mother has appeared in court.

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.

Keir appeared at Kilmarnock Sheriff Court last week for sentencing but the decision was deferred to a later date to allow the 54-year-old time to save up money to pay compensation.

A previous hearing heard the elderly woman, who has since passed away, lived in Elgin and was moved to Ardrossan to live with Keir who moved her into South Beach Care Home – paying for her care from the sale of her Elgin home.

However the court was told 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: “She moved her to live with Ms Keir and then was transferred to a care home when she was diagnosed with dementia. 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.”

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.”

At the time Sheriff Elizabeth McFarlane 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.”

She will return to court on August 20 for sentencing.