Dec 9 2009 Airdrie & Coatbridge
A FORMER drug addict who stole thousands of pounds from a woman’s bank account was ordered to perform 120 hours community service.
Nicola Allan (24), from Mossvale Walk in Craigend, Glasgow, avoided jail after pleading guilty to defrauding £5000 from a bank account.
Allan’s victim discovered that £1800 had been taken from her Halifax Bank of Scotland account in September 2007.
The witness opened another account at her branch in South Bridge Street Airdrie from which the accused then withdrew £2200 by telephone banking and put it in her own account.
Allan withdrew a further £1000 from the same account. The victim was only alerted to the crime when she received a telephone call from the bank about possible “fraudulent behaviour”.
Fiscal depute Emma Ross told the court that the £5000 taken by Allan had been returned by Halifax Bank of Scotland.
Ms Ross added: “It was discovered the accused was responsible and when questioned by the police, she said, ‘I know what it is about and I am not going to deny it,’ and made a full admission.”
Referring to a background report, Stephen Freed, defending, said his client had changed her ways since the offence was carried out.
“She had addiction problems with cocaine and alcohol,” he said, addressing Sheriff Frank Pieri. “She had owed drug dealers money and frittered the money away on drink and drugs.
“But she has turned her life around and you can see from the reports she has been making progress on probation.
“She has been off drugs for a period of 18 months and has received counselling.
“She gave birth to a daughter in April this year which has given her something to focus on and has managed to attain employment as a shop assistant.”
Sheriff Pieri told the accused he had considered sending her to prison. He said: “Miss Allan, in normal circumstances you would be sentenced to time in custody, but it is a fairly positive report and you have made an effort to turn your life around.
“So what I have in mind is a period of community service. This is an alternative to custody.”