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Gloucestershire Business News

Man jailed for defrauding his own mother out of £64,000 by abusing power of attorney

A 63-year-old Lancashire man has today been jailed for 19 months for defrauding his own mother out of £64,500 by abusing his power of attorney over her financial affairs.

William Neild, of Dandy Road, Darwen, pleaded guilty at Gloucester crown court to committing fraud by transferring funds from the account of his mother Irene into his own account.

Gloucester Crown Court was told that the fraudulent activity occurred between January 1, 2013 and August 30, 2016 while his mother Irene Neild resided at a nursing home in Tewkesbury, Glos. She died in 2017 at the age of 98.

The offences came to light when it was discovered that a debt of between £20,000 and £25,000 had been built up and there was not enough money in Mrs Neild's account to pay her care home fees.

Prosecutor David Scutt told the court that Mrs Neild had previously been the victim of an ATM fraud by her cleaner and she had received £4,000 in compensation.

He added: "In the Lancashire Telegraph report about the case Neild stated, 'This whole situation has been awful. I would advise other families in a similar situation not to allow the bank card to be used by anyone other than family members. You can simply not trust anyone'.

"Yet Neild himself has carried out a similar offence by diverting £64,500 funds over a three year period into a company account of which he is a director.

"He also withdrew between £1,200 and £1,500 using an ATM card. He took her money to manage a number of properties and his own expenses."

Guy Wyatt defending said that Neild's life has been a catalogue of financial failures.

Mr Wyatt added: "Neild has owned a number of businesses. As part of his portfolio he purchased a few properties and it turns out these have been poor investments. His mortgage debt on the properties is £500,000.

"Neild claims that his mother would have wanted to help him financially. His fraudulent activity was not originally pre-planned but he slowly slipped into it. This is not a man who deliberately set out to defraud his mother.

"Luckily for her, his mother did not know what was happening as it did not directly affect her."

Judge Recorder Gordon Bebb QC said: "This was clearly an abuse of trust which you carried out over a number of years. She was a vulnerable elderly patient."

The judge jailed Neild for 19 months and ordered him to pay a victim surcharge of £140.

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