A Tayside children’s worker who took thousands of pounds from a “vulnerable” colleague has been struck off.
Megan Hutchison, a support worker at Craigie Park Nursery in Perth, is said to have “exploited” a fellow staff member by asking her to withdraw money from her personal bank account for Ms Hutchison’s use, or for the use of others, as well as using her bank card.
The incidents were said to have taken place on multiple occasions.
As a result, the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) reported that she deprived the vulnerable woman of between £6,500-£7,670, between June 2017 and January this year.
Among its reasons for finding her unfit to practice in the care sector, the SSSC panel reported that Ms Hutchison had “accepted a significant amount of money from a colleague, who she exploited for her own personal gain”. The report noted the exploitation of the woman “had resulted in financial and emotional harm”.
The panel also noted the extremely serious nature of the behaviour.
The SSSC said the woman believed she was “helping Ms Hutchison as a friend and did not truly understand the value of the money that she was giving to her”, and Ms Hutchison “deliberately exploited this vulnerability”.
Ms Hutchison denied wrongdoing but her actions were said to have been “planned and deliberate”.
The SSSC said there was evidence to suggest she had told the woman not to tell anyone at her place of work about the arrangement, which made her conduct “a form of emotional abuse”, and that it “was a very serious abuse of trust by her, which was compounded by her lack of insight, regret or reflection”.
The report did note, however, that the money had been paid back. At the hearing on July 18 she was struck off the register with immediate effect.
A spokeswoman for the nursery declined to comment as she said the events took place out of hours and had no direct impact on children.
Meanwhile, a care worker in Dundee faces allegations she abused a care home resident. It is alleged Carly Hegarty physically and verbally abused the resident while employed as a care assistant by Priority Care Group Limited.
The SSSC hearing will take place from July 30-August 2 in Dundee.