Aberdeen charity worker Philip Muirhead jailed over 'despicable' thefts
A charity worker who stole thousands of pounds from vulnerable pensioners has been jailed for two-and-a-half years.
Philip Muirhead, 36, from Aberdeen, went to Cuba and also bought a car using some of the money, after taking and cashing cheques from two people.
He was working as an advocate at a support centre at Royal Cornhill Hospital.
Muirhead admitted 10 charges of theft committed between 2008 and 2010 when he appeared at Aberdeen Sheriff Court
The court heard he considered suicide after being caught.
Defence agent Gregor Kelly said: "Mr Muirhead succumbed to temptation to dig himself out of financial difficulties.
"There was a window of opportunity and he took that and he will regret it for the rest of his life.
"His financial position unravelled during the time near the end of the offences although he admits that he did use some of the money for the car and the holiday."
Mr Kelly added: "He panicked with regard to attending court.
"He simply couldn't face up to reality - he had a clearly thought out a suicide plan and made his way to the Forth Road Bridge."
Sheriff William Summers said: "You were employed in a position of trust and you abused that trust - that was shameless and despicable.
"All the money you have stolen has been squandered.
"These were not sophisticated thefts but they were carried out in an utterly deceitful and heartless way."