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Daughter who stole from elderly mother says she plans to pay £8000 back

PUBLISHED: 15:53 17 January 2020 | UPDATED: 15:53 17 January 2020

Norwich Crown Court. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

Norwich Crown Court. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

Jamie Honeywood Archant Norwich Norfolk

A daughter who stole more than £8000 from her vulnerable elderly mother has taken out a loan so she can pay every penny back, a court heard

Bonita Mills, 60, helped look after the finances of her 79 year-old mother when she developed dementia but used her mother's bank card to withdraw cash for herself and pay for items such as home insurance and orders from Amazon, Norwich Crown Court heard.

Robert Warner, prosecuting, said the thefts were discovered when suspicious transactions were noticed on the mother's account by other family members.

Mr Warner said police were informed and when interviewed Mills admitted taking £8300 of her mother's cash but offered to pay back all the money she had taken.

Mills of St Mary's Road, Poringland, near Norwich, admitted theft between March 2017 and July 2019.

Andrew Oliver, for Mills, said the day after she was interviewed by police she had taken out a bank loan for £8,300 which was sitting in an account ready to pay back: "This is a very sad case in so many ways."

He said people who knew Mills describe her as a devoted daughter and despite her mother saying she could have the cash she knows she has to pay it back.

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"She is ready to pay back the money to her mother despite the protestations of her mother. It is money she knows she must repay."

He said despite the thefts she still helped with her care on a regular basis: "She is doing it because she enjoys the company of her mother,"

He said the cash taken was not going on luxury items but day-to-day living.

Sentencing her, Judge Katharine Moore said it was a breach of trust and imposed a three month jail sentence suspended for 18 months.

She said that Mills should repay the cash and there would a further hearing to confiscate the cash on February 14.

She told Mills: "You let yourself and your mother down badly."

She said Mills had caused hurt and upset within her family and added: "It was an extremely mean and persistent spell of offending. She was your mother and you were caring for her and giving the impression to many that you were devoted to her when you were at the same time taking her money and treating yourself."

She also ordered Mills to do 200 hours unpaid work.

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