Norfolk man denies stealing from father-in-law

A man yesterday denied stealing �100,000 from his elderly father-in-law, saying the care he and his wife gave spared him from going into a home.

Colin and Dawn Bloom looked after Richard George Richards, known as George, when they allegedly stole from his account over a five-year period.

It is alleged at Norwich Crown Court that Colin Bloom, 45, of St John's Way, Thetford, and Dawn Bloom, 41, of Cider Court, Banham, stole �100,000 from Mr Richards from January 2006 to December 2010.

When he died at 79, he had just �400 left in his account.

They both deny theft.

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Giving evidence, Colin Bloom, who until recently worked for Serco helping monitor offenders wearing tags, said all his spare time was spent caring for Mr Richards, who was in a wheelchair and had speech problems following a stroke.

He said he and his wife would do a lot of day-to-day care and ensured he had quality of life, and used to take him on regular outings to the pub and supermarket.

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Mr Richards usually insisted on paying for meals out and food bought at supermarkets, he said, adding: 'He was grateful for us taking him out.'

Money taken from Mr Richards' account was used for his care.

They had made improvements to the home they shared to make life easier for him, such as installing ramps and a patio which Mr Richards had paid for.

Asked by his defence barrister, Andrew Shaw, if he considered it dishonest to take money which Mr Richard offered them, he replied: 'No'.

The trial continues.

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