Woman, 73, jailed after forging dead partner's will in inheritance fraud

Anne Kermode-Hutchinson

Anne Kermode-Hutchinson, from Mildenhall, who has been jailed at Ipswich Crown Court - Credit: Suffolk Police

A 73-year-old woman who forged her late partner’s will in a bid to cheat his two sisters out of their £423,000 inheritance - four years after been jailed for forging a former deceased partner’s will - has been jailed for three years and nine months.

Sentencing Anne Kermode-Hutchinson, of Rowan Walk, Mildenhall, Judge David Pugh said there were “remarkable similarities” between the current offences and the previous fraud for which she was jailed for 15 months in 2015.

He described the offences as “sophisticated” and said she didn’t appear to be remorseful.

Kermode- Hutchinson, who walked into court on Tuesday, May 18, with the aid of a Zimmer frame, pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to two offences of fraud by false representation.

The offences related to her dishonestly presenting documents purporting to be the genuine will of George Hayes to a solicitor between October 28 and November 12 and presenting similar documents as genuine to another solicitor on November 14, 2019.

Benedict Peers, prosecuting at Ipswich Crown Court, said Mr Hayes had made a will in 2009 leaving everything to his two sisters.

Five days after his death from a stroke in October 2019 Kermode-Hutchinson had attended a solicitor’s office in Mildenhall and presented a document which she claimed was Mr Hayes’ will and when that wasn’t accepted she had returned with another document which was again rejected.

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She had then gone to a different solicitor’s in Newmarket and presented another document purporting to be Mr Hayes’ will and the police were contacted after concerns were raised about it.

Mr Peers said Mr Hayes estate which included his house and shares was worth £423,371.

The court heard that the 2015 offence concerned her falsely claiming her deceased former partner David Hutchinson had left her his bungalow 

She was convicted following a trial after denying fraud by falsely representing to a solicitor that Mr Hutchinson had left her his property in Warren Road, Red Lodge, in lieu of an alleged debt.

The court heard she had 18 previous convictions including offences of dishonesty.

Laura Kenyon, for Kermode-Hutchinson, said her client had been in a romantic relationship with Mr Hayes for 10 years, living as husband and wife, adding: "Marriage was discussed but never came to fruition.

"She went about this in the wrong way, but would have been entitled to have had some claim for support."

She said her client had attended court with the aid of a Zimmer frame, having recently suffered a fractured hip and shoulder, and would struggle in a custodial environment.

She said Kermode-Hutchinson was still living in Mr Hayes’ property as probate was awaiting the outcome of the sentencing hearing.