'Good family friend' admits defrauding grieving carer of £12,500
PUBLISHED: 07:56 14 November 2019 | UPDATED: 08:24 14 November 2019
ARCHANT EASTERN DAILY PRESS (01603) 772434
A salesman took more than £12,500 from a grieving carer whom he had known for years.
Suzanne Weaver, from Hemsby, said she had trusted "good family friend" Vincent Daly, 29, to set up an account with online discount club Utility Warehouse.
But Ms Weaver, 57, of Newport Road, discovered in April, after her partner died of heart failure, that Daly had taken £12,558 out of her account.
Daly, of The Close, Hemsby, pleaded guilty to fraud by false representation when he appeared at Great Yarmouth Magistrates' Court on Wednesday.
"It's still hard to believe he's done this," Ms Weaver said. "Hemsby is a small village and we all know each other.
"I don't take any pleasure in seeing him in the dock."
She said she had been friends with Daly and his family for almost a decade and spent Christmases and birthdays with them.
Her partner Mark Howes, 48, died in October last year and Mrs Weaver said she had had to go through his old statements to work out how much money was missing.
"This needs to be over before I can put Mark to rest properly," she said. "The impact has been huge."
Prosecutor Victoria Bastock told magistrates that the offence took place between June 2018 and May this year.
"There is a breach of trust in that the defendant was known to the complainant and assisted in setting up the account," she said.
"He gained access to her credit card details and used the information to divert money into his own PayPal account."
She said the matter was too serious to be dealt with at magistrates' court as sentencing guidelines started at 18 months.
She said there was also an additional hardship element which would make the sentencing starting point even higher.
Arthur Balls, representing Daly, said he would not set out Daly's mitigation as the case was not suitable for magistrates' court.
Daly only spoke to confirm his name, age, address and nationality at the hearing which lasted around five minutes.
Chairman of the bench Timothy Thirst said that the case would be sent to Norwich Crown Court for sentencing.
Daly was released on unconditional bail.
Speaking after the hearing, Ms Weaver said she was "shell-shocked".