Charity worker stole £12k from man, 90, and bought a shed
- Credit: Archant
A volunteer with a charity stole £12,000 from an elderly victim - using it to buy a new shed and withdrawing cash on the day the frail pensioner died.
Gary Rose, 52, was a money matters advisor for the charity Age UK Norfolk when he helped himself to cash, even accessing £50 from the victim's account on the day he died, aged 90, Norwich Crown Court was told.
Adam Norris, prosecuting, said the fraud came to light when the victim's son noticed unusual transactions after his father's death and, when confronted, Rose admitted taking the cash, but claimed it was gifted to him.
Mr Norris said the charity had strict guidelines about declaring gifts over £25 and said boundaries were blurred between his role of financial advisor and his personal relationship.
He said the benefit figure was about £12,000.
He said: "Clearly nothing that was done was in the interests of the victim. It was all for the defendant."
He added: "This defendant was in a position of trust."
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He said an impact statement by the victim's son said it added to his grief that this fraud was carried out by someone his father thought was a friend.
Rose, of St Michaels Road, Long Stratton, admitted fraud between January 2017 and May 2019.
Judge Maureen Bacon imposed a 20-month jail sentence suspended for 22 months and ordered him to do 300 hours unpaid work.
She told Rose he was meant to help the victim but instead he helped himself to his cash.
"You helped yourself to his money and treated his bank account as if it was your own."
She said he had even used the victim's money to buy a garden shed the day before he passed away.
Andrew Oliver, for Rose, said he had spent years caring for his wife who had since died and he himself had suffered a breakdown in the past.
He said that he had been offered the cash and Mr Oliver said: "With some hindsight he accepts he should not have taken this money. He does feel ashamed of what he has done and apologises."