A cats’ charity worker who scammed more than £16,000 from a vulnerable “father figure” has been jailed.
Allan Lawson, of Broughty Ferry Road, made the theft from 67-year-old Benno Wolecki’s bank account between March 2016 and May 2017.
Mr Wolecki died a few months after Lawson’s scam ended.
Lawson, 39, was previously found guilty of the offence at Dundee Sheriff Court following a three-day trial.
The former hairdresser, who was more recently working voluntarily with Dundee’s Cats Protection, claimed he hadn’t seen Mr Wolecki as an “easy target”.
He said that money was only being transferred so he could help the frail pensioner pay his bills.
However, Lawson hijacked Mr Wolecki’s bank accounts and was using the cash to plug the holes in his own finances.
Lawson would repeatedly transfer large sums of money into his bank account then withdraw the money within minutes from a cash machine near his home.
The court heard Lawson had known Mr Wolecki “for decades” but all contact stopped after online access was blocked into Mr Wolecki’s bank account.
Fiscal depute Joanne Smith said previously: “He was aware of his physical difficulties. He said he saw him as a father figure.
“But he wasn’t concerned enough to speak to the warden of the sheltered housing complex to find out where Mr Wolecki was after he’d gone into hospital.
“After the internet banking stopped there were no more visits. He knew he could no longer access the accounts – the money from that source had dried up.”
Lawson had initially denied a charge of fraud between July 15 2014 and May 8 2017.
But he was convicted of the theft of a total of £16,259.21 between March 2016 and May 2017.
Solicitor Ian Houston urged Sheriff John Rafferty to place Lawson on a community payback order as an alternative to custody.
But Sheriff Rafferty sentenced Lawson to six months in prison.