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‘I did what she wanted’: daughter denies stealing £90,000 from elderly mum

PUBLISHED: 12:28 30 January 2020 | UPDATED: 12:28 30 January 2020

Norwich Crown Court. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

Norwich Crown Court. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

Jamie Honeywood Archant Norwich Norfolk

A woman who has been accused of stealing nearly £90,000 from her elderly mother with dementia claimed she did “whatever my mum asked me to do”.

Karen Wakeling, 47, is said to have breached her position of trust over a 10-year period while having power of attorney over the affairs of her mother, who is in her 80s.

Norwich Crown Court has been told by the prosecution that Wakeling made a series of transactions, taking money from her mother's account to fund holidays, pay off debts and even using her cash to pay for her 40th birthday party at a hotel in Hunstanton.

But, giving evidence on Thursday (January 30), Wakeling said her mum knew about what was happening.

She said: "I told my mum everything. It might seem strange but the way I dealt with my mum's dementia is I would always tell her everything."

She told the court that she asked her mum if she wanted to go into respite care but was told she "did not want to go into a home full stop".

But she said her mum would always tell her to go on holiday. She said: "That was mum's way of saying 'thank you'."

She added: "When someone is going to see someone every day for years my mum would say I needed breaks."

She said they had family holidays together but when her mum could not come insisted her mother "didn't want us to stop enjoying ourselves".

Wakeling was asked by her barrister, Dudley Beal, whether, in respect of all these transactions, she was acting in her mum's best interests.

She replied: "Always." She said: "I was doing whatever my mum asked me to do. I told her everything and I didn't lie to my mum."

When asked if she felt she ever acted dishonestly in terms of any of the transactions, she replied: "No."

Chris Youell, prosecuting, has alleged other transactions were used for groceries, treatments and buying items from Bravissimo.

Wakeling, of School Road, Heacham, has denied fraud in that she abused her position of trust as the holder of power of attorney in which she was expected to safeguard her mother's financial interests between October 2009, and June 2019.

The trial continues.


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