Woman found guilty of stealing £90k from mum who has dementia

Norwich Crown Court. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

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

A woman who stole almost £90,000 from her elderly mother who suffers from dementia has been warned to prepare herself for immediate custody after she was found guilty of a 'substantial fraud'.

Karen Wakeling, 47, was said to have breached her position of trust over a 10-year period while having power of attorney over the affairs of her mother, who is in her 80s.

Norwich Crown Court had been told by the prosecution that Wakeling made a series of transactions, taking money from her mother's account to fund holidays, pay off debts and even using her cash to pay for her 40th birthday party at a hotel in Hunstanton.

Wakeling denied fraud, insisting that the money she took was her "mum's way of saying thank you" for caring for her as she did and said she had sone "whatever my mum sked me to do",

But the jury of eight men and four women took just over an hour to find Wakeling guilty of fraud in that she abused her position of trust as the holder of power of attorney in which she was expected to safeguard her mother's financial interests

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between October 2009 and June 2019.

Wakeling, of School Road, Heacham, appeared to show no emotion as the verdict was returned by the jury in court on Thursday (January 30) afternoon.

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Judge Anthony Bate granted Wakeling bail on the condition that she abide by an electronically monitored curfew between 9pm and 6am but he warned her that it was a "substantial fraud".

Judge Bate, who adjourned sentencing until March 5 for a pre-sentence report to be prepared, said: "I may well have imediate custody in mind and you should prepare yourelf accordingly".

During the trial, which started earlier this week, Chris Youell, prosecuting, Mr told the jury: "She abused her position of having power of attorney and spent the money for her own benefit, not for her mother."

Mr Youell said Wakeling was meant to look after her mother's finances but he said: "The prosecution say she took a large sum of money of around £89,000 for her own use."

He said other transactions were used for groceries, treatments and buying items from Bravissimo.

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