Forres ambulance man admits stealing from patient in his care

Inverness Sheriff Court
Inverness Sheriff Court

A TRUSTED MORAY ambulance driver was branded for a “gross breach of trust” when he appeared at Inverness Sheriff Court on Thursday.

John Duff appeared accused of preying on a senior citizen in his care when he collected her from her home for regular dialysis treatment.

Duff, 41 and from Fleurs Drive in Forres, admitted stealing a sum of cash for the patients home at Balloch between April 14 and April 18 this year. He gave up his job shortly after his offence was discovered.

He faced further allegations that he had stolen £20 when taking a patient from Lawyers Way in Inverness to the Royal Northern Infirmary, and £40 on another journey between a home in Cullaird Road in Inverness to the same hospital. His denial on both these charges was accepted by the court.

In court Fiscal depute David Morton explained that Duff was responsible for going to patients’ homes and locking up after them after retrieving personal belongings. Mr Morton added that it was during one visit that he stole approximately £50-£60 from 81-year-old Julia Mackenzie.

Defence solicitor John MacColl said that his client had been “disgusted” at what he had done, and accepted that his facing significant financial difficulties at the time was no excuse.

Mr MacColl added that his client had learned his lesson and the chances of him reoffending are so low they were virtually nil.

Sentencing Duff to carry out 300 hours of unpaid work Sheriff Margaret Nelson told the accused that the amount he stole was not the issue but his “gross breach of trust” was.