Johnstone man admits stealing credit card and over £500 cash from elderly neighbor he considered a grandmother

A Johnstone man has admitted stealing the credit card of a woman he believed to be his grandmother.

James McAdam, 20, stole elderly neighbor Mary Broadley’s credit card and PIN and then spent almost £300 on PlayStation extras.

Callous McAdam, of Spruce Avenue, also admitted stealing various items from East Fulton Primary School in Linwood, including a laptop computer, electric drill and stationery totaling £1,500.

Heartless McAdam, who now works as a courier, then stole another £515 from his elderly neighbor.

Paisley Sheriff Court heard on Wednesday that Mary Broadley lived two doors down from McAdam and had been a friend of his family for several years.

The court was told that the relationship between Broadley and McAdam resembled “grandparent and grandson”.

Sheriff Gillian Craig ordered him to repay his victim, castigating his despicable behavior and “violating a position of trust”.

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Assistant Tax Solicitor Jason Stark explained: “On October 1, 2018, Ms Broadley received a new credit card and PIN from her bank, Clydesdale Bank.

He splashed the PlayStation extras

“She put the card and PIN in a travel briefcase and put it in a drawer in her room for future use.

“Ms Broadley was contacted by her bank saying there had been activity on the card and she said she had not used it.

“Broadley checked his drawer and noticed the card and PIN were missing.

“Investigations by the bank revealed that the transactions were used on the PlayStation Network and four transactions were made.”

All four fraudulent transactions were made from the same IP address and console number.

A login ID email was also used in transactions and this included McAdam’s name.

Mr Stark added: “On November 20, 2018, a transaction for £76.95 was processed with three more on November 21, for £140, £19.98 and £55.98, totaling £292.91.

“Further investigations revealed that the IP address was that of the defendant’s home address.”

The court heard how McAdam stole a black laptop, power drill, hammer drill and stationary items from the elementary school on March 11, 2019.

The value of the goods he seized was £1,500, with the police only recovering £400 of the items.

Mr Stark explained how heartless McAdam then stole £515 from Ms Broadley on March 13, 2019. He said: “At around 8.30am Ms Broadley knocked on her door from the accused, who told her asked if he could come in.

“He hadn’t been to the property since the October incident.

“She told him he was going out and she had to leave soon.

“Both of them were in the living room and her purse was on the table.

“Ms Broadley went to the toilet and on her return noticed her bag had shifted and £15 was missing.

“She asked McAdam where he was and he denied knowing.

“Ms Broadley emptied the contents of her bag onto the sofa, including an envelope with £500 and a mobile phone.”

The court heard Ms Broadley left her house and returned home at around 10.30am and checked her belongings on the sofa to find the contents of the envelope – the £500 – were missing and her back door was unlocked .

McAdam was later arrested and gave no response to the warning and accusation.

Defense attorney Ruth Wallace told the court that McAdam was “in a really dark place at the time” and was “extremely young”.

Ms Wallace explained: “He is very sorry for his actions. He was 16 at the time of the incident.

“He was in a very dark place at the time as his best friend had died of an accidental drug overdose and he turned to drinking alcohol and taking Valium.

“There was no planning in the incident at school, it was a spur of the moment due to his intoxication, but he appreciates that’s no excuse.

“He is remorseful, he is truly sorry for his actions and he appreciates the effect it has had on those involved and he is extremely embarrassed.”

At sentencing, Sheriff Craig said, “There are a number of things that strike me.

“The first is that you were very young at the time and suffered a lot after your friend’s accidental overdose.

“And also, the second is that you have a neighbor who was like a grandmother, which means that you violated that trust and you really violated it in an appalling way.”

She ordered McAdam to pay a total of £900 in compensation for Ms Broadley’s thefts.

Additionally, McAdam was ordered to perform 50 hours of unpaid community work for the school theft charge.

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