Woman who stole from parent warned she faces jail

Elgin trial ends with guilty verdict for Portknockie woman.

A THREE DAY TRIAL in Elgin has concluded with a Moray woman being warned that she now faces a jail sentence.

The jury found Pearl Dewar guilty on Monday after taking three hours to deliberate over charges that she stole almost £40,000 from her mother.

Dewar, 63, took the cash over a seven year period from January 2007 and November 2013 when she was in a position of trust caring for 89-year-old Jane Gall’s bank account.

During that period she withdrew £109,000 – and while much of that was used to pay for Mrs Gall’s household expenses, the jury believed that a large portion never reached the pensioner.

Throughout the trial Dewar said the missing money was explained by her mother having ridiculous spending habits and lavishing attention on guests, adding that her mother had lied over never receiving the money.

However, the jury returned a guilty verdict, deciding to believe evidence presented by the fiscal depute against that of defence agent Bill Adam. Mr Adam said that his client was guilty only of “poor record keeping” from the shopping trips she had made on behalf of her mother.

He told the jury: “She should have kept records and a better track of things – in evidence she said she maybe got it wrong, you cannot convict someone of a serious charge for getting it wrong.

“Over a seven-year period there is a lot of shopping, you can understand someone getting it wrong.”

Sheriff Olga Pasportnikov warned Dewar, whose address was given in Portknockie, that a prison sentence was uppermost in her mind because of the sum involved. She added that Dewar should begin making efforts to repay what she had stolen.

Sentence was deferred until January 19 to allow background reports to be presented to the court.