Norwich woman stole more than £300,000 from late uncle and left care home bills unpaid

PUBLISHED: 06:30 25 August 2018

Norwich Crown Court. Picture Adrian Judd.

Norwich Crown Court. Picture Adrian Judd.

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A Norwich woman has admitted stealing more than £309,000 from her late uncle, leaving his care home bills unpaid, a court heard.

Lindsay Matthews, 61, from Manby Road in Norwich, stole the cash after being given lasting power of attorney (LPA) for the affairs of her uncle Anthony Turner, which allowed her to take charge of all his finances, Norwich Crown Court heard on Friday.

The LPA gave Matthews power to help her uncle make decisions about his daily care, as well as access to his financial affairs.

Over a six-year period Matthews plundered his account and admitted the theft of £309,759, although further investigations have now been ordered by the court to check whether this is the correct final sum stolen.

Peter Gair, prosecuting, said she was given LPA in June 2010 and by October 2016 all the funds she had in her control had been spent.

Mr Turner died in December 2016.

He said: “It would appear to have been spent primarily for her own benefit and the fees that were owed for the care home, where her uncle was living, were unpaid by 2016 and had no means to make those payments.”

Andrew Oliver, for Matthews, said she was unable to say how much she spent but agrees with whatever figure the final accounts show.

He said that at the time of the offending she had been drinking heavily and said: “In reality she is not sure whether it was £200,000 or £300,000. She is none the wiser.”

The court asked for further detailed checks to be made before sentence, after accounts showed there was an investment tracker bond for £100,000 which might make a difference to the final figure she stole.

Mr Gair said it might be that some cash could be found to pay any beneficiaries of Mr Turner’s will and repay any cash which had been paid by the local authority to the care home.

Judge Anthony Bate reserved the case to himself and adjourned sentence until September 28.

He told Matthews it was important the court had all the facts before sentence and said when she returned it would have a much “clearer picture”.

“It is important to get it right,” he said.

He bailed Matthews and imposed a tagging curfew order for her to remain indoors between 9pm and 6am.

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