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A bloke has been dubbed the “worst father in Scotland” after he stole benefit cash set aside for baby formula and instead splurged it on booze and cigarettes.
Gary Meikle committed the fraud after walking out on his wife Tracey and his kids, then shacked up with his neighbour.
The 33-year-old dad of six pocketed an NHS Healthy Start Card, specifically meant to pay for baby milk and healthy food.
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The crook took the card to a petrol station and convenience shop to buy £500 of alcohol and cigarettes.
When Tracey, 43, discovered the account had been ravaged she reported Meikle to the cops who searched the house in Kilwinning, Ayrshire.
When police searched his home, Meikle had the card in his pocket.
A family friend told the Daily Record that Meikle has been lying low and has had virtually no contact with his six children despite living so close.
They added: “Tracey was unaware of any major problems in the marriage but Gary moved out in June 2021, when she was four months pregnant with their sixth child.
“He’s abandoned her with the kids then robbed the money for the baby’s milk. It’s disgusting.
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“She found out he was basically lying low after that. Tracey thinks he had his own flat for a bit but ended up back with his new partner.”
The friend added: “He hasn’t spent a penny on birthday or Christmas presents, not even a card.
“It’s hard to imagine there is a worse dad in Scotland.”
At Kilmarnock Sheriff Court last month, Meikle was ordered to pay Tracey £500 compensation for the fraud.
The charge against him stated he showed up at a garage in Kilwinning with the Healthy Start card, which he said was his.
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The complaint specifically acknowledged that the card was meant for baby milk. The charge was also aggravated by the abuse of Tracey under the Abusive Behaviour and Sexual Harm (Scotland) Act.
At an earlier hearing, Meikle tried to say Tracey had given him permission to spend the benefit cash but a sheriff refused to believe him.
It is understood he still hasn’t paid a penny of it back.
Meikle was also given a two-year non-harassment order.
When the Record emailed Meikle to get his side of the story, he got his mother Roseanne to call their reporter.
She said: “He is quite upset and doesn’t want to say anything.”
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