A CLEANER went on a spending spree after stealing debit cards from two vulnerable patients at a Clydebank hospice.

Heartless Izabela Wisniewska fled the country after stealing the cards from two women while they were being cared for at the St Margaret of Scotland Hospice in Whitecrook.

The 33-year-old was slammed for her “appalling” behaviour when she appeared in court last week.

Wisniewska was sentenced at Dumbarton Sheriff Court on November 9 after pleading guilty at an earlier hearing to stealing the cards from the two patients – both of whom have since died – between October and December 2017.

Fiscal depute Abigail McKenna told last week’s hearing that in the middle of October 2017 one of the hospice residents told her daughter that she couldn’t find her Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) debit card.

The daughter was aware she had received text messages from the bank.

On November 23 that year, the daughter took her mother out of the hospice to visit an RBS branch so they could check the transactions made between October 11 and November 20.

Ms McKenna said Wisniewska had used the woman’s card to make a fraudulent payment of £80.05 in three different transactions in a JD Sports store in Clydebank.

She also bought goods worth £1,091.68 from online shop Wish using the same card.

Ms McKenna said the second victim had moved into the hospice in East Barns Street in December 2017, when the woman’s daughter put £100 in cash in her purse, which was kept in her wardrobe.

However, on December 18, the daughter noticed £60 was missing.

She asked the hospice staff where the money had gone, but it was confirmed that her mother had not spent the money or given it to anyone.

The next day the daughter picked up a voicemail from the RBS fraud team about her mother’s debit history.

The fiscal said that Wisniewska had spent £69.32 in four separate transactions in Tesco and £15.05 in Poundland.

Ms McKenna said one of Wisniewska’s colleagues noticed her “visibly upset” and that she had confessed to carrying out the thefts.

She was asked to report to the ward manager.

Police were alerted, but when officers tried to trace Wisniewska it was realised she had returned to Poland.

The court was told that both victims had been reimbursed by their bank.

Wisniewska’s solicitor, Haseeb Hassan, said: “She was working as a cleaner for almost 10 years. She was so ashamed that she didn’t tell her mother.”

Mr Hassan said that the first offender had been told by the hospice that she was “simply fired and that’s the end of it”.

He continued: “She had no idea that this matter was going to court.

“She advises that she was trying to provide for her children. That is not any excuse for the action she has taken.”

Sheriff Frances McCartney told Wisniewska: “This may not be a crime of violence but it is a crime committed against people in the most vulnerable state that you could imagine.

“Hearing that one of the individuals had been taken from the hospice to visit her bank is appalling.

“By your actions you have caused undoubted harm to two very vulnerable individuals near to the end of their lives.”

The sheriff placed Wisniewska, of Kirkton Avenue, Knightswood, on a community payback order with 12 months of social work supervision and told her to pay £1,256.10 to RBS.