Man jailed for stealing £23,000 from his partner’s mother has to sell his Land Rover

Norwich Crown Court. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

Norwich Crown Court. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood - Credit: Archant

A man who stole more than £20,000 from his partner’s elderly mother is having to sell his Land Rover to pay some of the cash back.

Andrew Skelton, 58, from Main Road, Titchwell, defrauded Patricia Harris, 87, who had dementia, of more than £23,500 over a two year period and was jailed for 18 months, last month, when he appeared at Norwich Crown Court.

Mrs Harris, who was living in a care home in Heacham, did not realise her care bills were not being paid and died in April, last year.

Skelton was back at Norwich Crown Court, on Monday, for a confiscation hearing to try to claw back some of the cash he stole.

Danielle O'Donovan, prosecuting, said the only asset available was a Landrover Freelander, owned by Skelton, which police planned to sell at auction.


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The court heard that the car is expected to fetch about £2,400.

Hugh Vass, appeared at the hearing on behalf of Skelton.

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Judge Andrew Shaw made the order that the cash raised from the sale of the car should be paid as compensation.

He ordered that Skelton should have three months to pay what ever cash was raised from the sale of the car.

Judge Shaw said Skelton should serve 12 months in default of the payment.

During his sentencing, in February, the court heard that Skelton had been in a position of trust with regards to managing Mrs Harris' finances, but had treated the money as his own and spent the cash on himself rather than use it to pay her care home bills.

Chris Youell, prosecuting, said: 'The defendant was supposed to be managing Mrs Harris' account, but suspicions arose when she was not visited and her money was not paying her care bills.'

The matter came to light after Norfolk County Council raised concerns with police and an investigation showed Skelton had accessed Mrs Harris' bank account to make several cash withdrawals, as well as buying petrol, riding equipment and takeaways.

At his sentencing, Skelton was told that he had abused a position of trust.

The judge said there needed to be clear, deterrent sentences by the courts to show that this type of offending would not be tolerated.

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