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Woman stole £9,500 from disabled brother to fund home improvements

PUBLISHED: 14:40 23 September 2019 | UPDATED: 15:05 23 September 2019

Norwich Crown Court. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

Norwich Crown Court. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

Jamie Honeywood Archant Norwich Norfolk

A woman has been jailed for stealing £9,500 from her disabled brother and using it to fund her home improvements.

Julie Copping, 53, was given power of attorney over her brother's affairs after the death of their mother but then used this as an opportunity to steal the cash from his bank account over a seven-month period, Norwich Crown Court heard.

Chris Youell, prosecuting, said she was meant to be looking after the interests of her brother, who has a mental disability, but instead she spent the cash on herself and used some of the money for home renovations.

He said: "She was supposed to be acting in the interests of her brother."

Mr Youell said the thefts came to light after the brother realised the cash being withdrawn from his account did not match the money which was being spent on his needs.

The court heard that Copping had since repaid £6,000 of the money and was planning to repay all the cash, although at the moment the brother was having no contact with her.

Copping, of Heyford Road, Norwich, admitted theft of £9,611 between January 2018 and July 2018.

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Jailing her for nine months, Judge Anthony Bate said she had been in breach of a high degree of trust that had been placed in her to look after her brother, who was disabled.

He told her: "Those that breach that trust and steal substantial amounts of money, as you have done, have to be properly punished for it."

Andrew Oliver, for Copping, said it was distressing for her that as a result of what happened her brother was no longer in contact with her.

He said: "As a result of these proceedings her brother has not wanted to have contact with her and she has found that particularly distressing."

Mr Oliver said Copping had taken responsibility for the thefts and had pleaded guilty.

He said that at the time of the offences she was going through a difficult period and had to deal with losing her mother and was under stress at the time.

Mr Oliver said she also had health conditions to cope with and was of previous good character.

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