‘He saw it as taking money from himself’ - Son stole £6,000 from elderly mother with dementia
A son stole from his own family inheritance when he took £6,000 from his elderly mother with dementia, who he was caring for, a court heard.
Wayne Sims, 55, took the money from her account when he faced his own financial problems, knowing he would eventually inherit the cash anyway, Norwich Crown Court was told.
Sims, of Oxford Road, Lowestoft, admitted theft of the cash from his mother.
Oliver Haswell, prosecuting, said that Sims's mother always said she did not want to be at a nursing home, so when she had to go in a home, Sims and his partner, with the approval of the authorities, had taken her instead to come and live with them.
He said that it was accepted Sims had his mother's best interests at heart when he set up the arrangement but then made some withdrawals, which he later admitted had not been just used to pay for her care costs.
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John Morgans, for Sims, said: 'It is a terrible shame that he has got himself into this position. He is genuinely remorseful for what he has done.'
He said: 'It started out as a legitimate set-up designed in the best interests of the victim.'
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He added: 'It became criminal on the back of him having financial difficulties.'
He said Sims was tempted to take the cash for his own use and said: 'All his mother's money would pass to him and he saw it as taking money from himself.'
He said that Sims remained the sole benefactor and said: 'He wanted to do the right thing for her but he went about it in the wrong way. He is not trying to justify it. He accepts he got it wrong.'
He said Sims was of low risk of re-offending.
Judge Katharine Moore imposed a 12-month jail sentence suspended for 21 months and ordered him to do 150 hours unpaid work and a three-month curfew.
She said: 'The offence is particularly mean.'
She accepted there had been no inappropriate intentions when he set up the care plan but said for a three month period he had withdrawn cash, which he had spent on his own needs.
She told Sims: 'You appreciate now what you did was quite wrong. You took from her at a time when she was most vulnerable.'