Woman jailed for stealing £9,500 from her mother faces extra punishment

Norwich Crown Court. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

Norwich Crown Court. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood - Credit: Archant

A woman jailed for stealing £9,500 from her disabled mother could be forced to give up money or assets as an extra form of punishment.

Julie Copping, 53, of Heyford Road, Norwich, admitted theft of £9,611 between January 2018 and July 2018.

She was jailed for nine months on September 23 after appearing at Norwich Crown Court.

A proceeds of crime hearing into her case, which is where money or assets gained by a criminal are confiscated by the Crown Prosecution Service, is due to take place at the crown court today.

Copping 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, the crown court heard.

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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."

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The crime was revealed after Copping's brother realised the money being withdrawn from his account did not match the funds which were being spent on his needs.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.

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 was going through a difficult period when they took place.

He added the 53-year-old had health conditions and was of previous good character.

During her sentencing, Judge Anthony Bate said: "Those that breach that trust and steal substantial amounts of money, as you have done, have to be properly punished for it."

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