For­mer first min­is­ter’s sis­ter sells house to re­pay stolen cash

The Arran Banner - - News -

The sis­ter of for­mer first min­is­ter Jack McCon­nell has sold her Whit­ing Bay house as she at­tempts to pay back thou­sands of pounds she stole from a dis­abled pen­sioner.

On Tues­day, Kil­marnock Sher­iff Court was told that Anne McCon­nell, 51, who stole £9,000 from the bank ac­count of an 80-year-old se­vere arthri­tis suf­ferer, had sold her three-bed­room home for £95,000.

McCon­nell, who now lives in Kil­marnock and is the younger sib­ling of Labour peer Jack, got hold of the Ar­ran pen­sioner’s bank card and PIN num­ber and emp­tied her sav­ings ac­count be­tween Fe­bru­ary and Au­gust 2015.

McCon­nell is fac­ing jail for the of­fence and was told to raise the money she stole be­fore be­ing sen­tenced.

De­fence so­lic­i­tor Gor­don Ghee said: ‘An of­fer has been re­ceived on the prop­erty.

‘The pro­posed date of en­try is Septem­ber 9, the sale price is £95,000.’

Af­ter hear­ing that the £9,000 McCon­nell stole will be taken out of the £95,000, Sher­iff Eliz­a­beth McFar­lane ad­journed the case for the sale to be fi­nalised.

As she did so, she said: ‘I hope by then the funds have been trans­ferred and I’ll deal with this.

‘We are get­ting there slowly but surely.

‘I hope to put mat­ters to bed.’

McCon­nell is ex­pected to learn her fate next month.

McCon­nell’s theft came to light when she went off on sick leave and the pen­sioner no­ticed the money was gone.

Her new carer con­tacted the po­lice, lead­ing to McCon­nell be­ing de­tained and ques­tioned. McCon­nell told of­fi­cers she’d stolen the money be­cause she was go­ing through the menopause and needed it to pay her mort­gage.

And she said she hoped her big brother would help pay back the money, which was re­duced to £9,000 from £17,900 af­ter strik­ing a deal with pros­e­cu­tors.

But Jack McCon­nell, who was first min­is­ter of Scot­land be­tween 2001 and 2007, re­fused to help his sis­ter, mean­ing she had to sell the house and a host of house­hold items, in­clud­ing a horse­box, to raise the money she stole.

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