Ipswich: Woman accused of spending neighbours’ money is cleared of fraud

A WOMAN accused of spending a frail Ipswich couple’s pension payments on herself has been cleared of fraud by a jury.

Brenda Levy, 53, of Kenyon Street, Ipswich, had denied two offences of fraud by abuse of position between 2007 and 2010 and was found not guilty after a week-long trial at Ipswich Crown Court.

The court heard that because of concerns about the ability of the 73-year-old woman and her partner, who has since died, to look after themselves and their finances Levy, who was a friend and neighbour, was appointed to receive their pensions and act on their behalf.

Peter Gair, prosecuting, alleged that Levy was under an obligation to use the couple’s money in their best interests and to keep a record of expenditure made on their behalf. However, he claimed that Levy had paid the couple’s pension and disability allowance which amounted to �1,600 a month into her current account and had failed to keep any records to account for how the money had been spent.

During her evidence Levy said she had spoken to the 73-year-old woman’s son about giving up the role as appointee after her granddaughter asked her to look after her children. She said she spoke to the woman’s son about taking over the role but his mother did not want him to do it.

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Levy said she had also written to the Department of Work and Pensions about her wish to give up the role as appointee.

She denied spending the couple’s money on herself and said she had used it to pay their bills and to buy food and other things they needed.

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