Man who stole £25k from his grandmother to fund addictions is jailed

James Cooper was jailed at Ipswich Crown Court

James Cooper was jailed for a total of two years at Ipswich Crown Court - Credit: Suffolk police

A Suffolk man who stole around £25,000 from his grandmother to fund gambling and crack cocaine addictions while he was caring for her has been jailed for two years.

James Cooper, 26, was given a suspended prison sentence in January last year after he admitted stealing £18,800 from his grandmother, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

Several months later in June this year his grandmother, who was retired, discovered a further £6,000 was missing from her bank account and noticed the transactions mimicked the previous withdrawals by her grandson, Daniel Setter, prosecuting, said. 

He said the victim had allowed Cooper to use her bankcard to make £200 withdrawals for her but he had taken out a lot more.

After his arrest Cooper admitted stealing the money from his grandmother and blamed gambling and cocaine addictions.

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Mr Setter said Cooper was shocked and emotional when he was told by police how much he’d actually stolen from his grandmother.

Cooper, of Mann’s Court, Elmswell, admitted theft between September 7 last year and June 6 this year and breach of a 16-month prison sentence suspended for 24 months for the earlier offence of theft.

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Sentencing Cooper on Friday, Recorder Jeremy Benson QC said he’d stolen money from his grandmother while he was caring for her.

He said he wasn’t dealing with just one theft but multiple thefts over a period of time.

He jailed him for 12 months for the recent theft of £6,000 with a further 12 months to run consecutively for the breach of the suspended sentence - making a total of two years.

He made no order for compensation or costs as Cooper wasn’t in a position to pay anything.

The judge made a restraining order banning Cooper from going to his grandmother’s address until further order.

Cooper, who appeared at the sentencing hearing via a prison video link, told the court that he loved his grandmother and his family and realised how badly he’d let them down.

He said he had “done bad things but wasn’t a bad person” and was genuinely sorry.

He said he’d managed to stop his gambling addiction on his own but had then started using cocaine and his addiction had “spiralled out of control.”

He said he’d hoped to repay his grandmother after the first offence but had been unable to after he was furloughed.

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