Sister gives evidence in Norfolk theft trial

The sister of a woman accused of stealing �100,000 from their elderly father told a court that she had not monitored her father's bank account but said that his spending would have been 'very little'

Dawn Bloom and her husband Colin had been looking after Richard George Richards, known as George, when they allegedly stole tens of thousands of pounds from his account over a five-year period, while they cared for him.

Norwich Crown Court heard how Mr Richards, who had suffered a severe stroke, moved in with the couple after his wife died in 2003.

It is alleged that Dawn Bloom, 41, of Cider Court, Banham and Colin Bloom, 45, of St John's Way, Thetford stole about �100,000 from Mr Richards from January 2006 to December 2010. When Mr Richards died in 2010 , aged 79, the jury heard that he had just �400 left in his account. The couple have both denied a charge of theft.

Giving evidence, Dawn Bloom's sister, Kay Goddard said that her father had a stroke in 1990 which left him partly paralysed and with communication problems.

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She said that after her mother died in 2003 the family decided that he should go to live with her sister Dawn and Colin Bloom, who had offered to look after him ,rather than him having to go into a home.

She said they sold her father's bungalow and her sister and Colin bought a house jointly with Mr Richards, in Thetford.

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Mrs Goddard said she understood that her father owned half the house and Colin and Dawn Bloom would pay the mortgage on the other half of the house.

She said that a direct debit of �200 was set up to pay towards bills.

Mrs Goddard said: 'I did not monitor the account. It was my dad's money.'

She said that she thought his spending would be 'very little.'

'He bought his own food, buying things he wanted . He did not go anywhere or do anything. He could not go out by himself.'

She said in the last two years of his life he had been in and out of hospital but said there had been a cheque making a withdrawal from his account during one of his hospital stays.

She also said she had been unaware that her father's name had been removed from the property, in Thetford, which he jointly shared with Dawn and Colin Bloom.

Mr Richards eldest son Carl also told the court how in 2008 he had spotted that regular amounts of money were being withdrawn from his father's account and thought the account might be cloned.

He said he brought it to the attention of Dawn Bloom , and the card was stopped so it was then just a cheque account.

It was only later he found out that further withdrawals had then been made using cheques.

He said: 'I trusted my sister to look after these affairs.'

The trial continues.

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