Aldeburgh woman is jailed for draining £40k from her elderly mother’s bank account

Ipswich Crown Court

Ipswich Crown Court - Credit: Archant

A greedy Suffolk woman who was “incensed” at being cut out her mother’s will fraudulently obtained £40,000 of her life savings and squandered it on gambling, holidays, electrical goods and eating out, a court has heard.

Mandy Stevens set up an online bank account within days of her 68-year-old mother Janet Whiteley, who suffered from dementia, being admitted into hospital and used it to make transfers from her mother’s account into her own account, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

Jailing 49-year-old Stevens for three years, Judge Martyn Levett said she was “incensed” at being cut out of her mother’s will and had deliberately “drained” £40,000 out of her account and spent it on gambling and luxuries.

He described what Stevens had done as a “gross breach of trust” and said she had “an unpleasant streak of deceit” in her character.

“You were motivated purely by greed after discovering you weren’t in her will,” said the judge.

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Stevens, 49, of Fairfield Road, Aldeburgh, admitted two offences of fraud by false representation between April 10 and June 18, 2014.

Nicola May, prosecuting, said Mrs Whiteley was admitted to a dementia care ward at Chelmsford Hospital in April 2014 and had since been moved to a specialist care home.

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She said Mrs Whiteley did not have the mental capacity to manage her financial affairs and had a “strained” relationship with Stevens, who was her only daughter.

Miss May said that during a visit to see her mother Stevens was overheard to tell her that next time she saw her she might be in handcuffs. When her mother asked her if she had spent her money Stevens told her she had hidden it from the authorities so “it wouldn’t be swallowed up by the Government.”

Miss May said Stevens had spent the money on gambling, electrical goods, holidays and eating out.

Juliet Donovan, for Stevens, said her client had a gambling addiction and had problems with drugs and alcohol in the past.

She said Stevens had been abandoned by both her parents as a child.”She was neglected and emotionally abused on a grand scale and that led her to act in the way she did,” said Miss Donovan.

She said Stevens was homeless and had shown some remorse for the offences.

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