Son stole £17,000 from his mum

CHRISTINE CUNNINGHAM A son sunk to the "depths of deceit" and stole more than £17,000 from his vulnerable elderly mother - and attempted to cash further cheques amounting to another £18,500 a court heard.

CHRISTINE CUNNINGHAM

A son sunk to the "depths of deceit" and stole more than £17,000 from his vulnerable elderly mother - and attempted to cash further cheques amounting to another £18,500 a court heard.

Gary Chatt, 47 took advantage of his mother Joan Ramm, 72, who was in a residential home and managed to obtain 15 cheques from the joint account she held with her husband Alfred, who has since died, Norwich Crown Court heard.

Andrew Oliver, prosecuting, said that Chatt sunk to the depths of deceit and managed to cash 10 cheques from the account totalling £17,420 - and also had a further five cheques which were never cashed but one alone was for £10,000.

He said that his mother became aware about what was happening after being contacted by Barclays Bank where the account was held.

Mr Oliver said the offences left Chatt's mother "broken-hearted and devastated."

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In an impact statement she said that she had lived on very little money all her life and always coped.

The court heard that he had since been reconciled with his mother and £5,500 of the cash was still in his account and had been frozen so it could be returned to his mother.

Chatt, of Salisbury Road, Yarmouth, admitted obtaining a money transfer by deception and asked for five attempted deceptions to be taken into consideration.

Judge Daniel Worsley jailed him for 12 months suspended for two years and ordered him to do 300 hours' unpaid work.

He told him: "It was a wicked trickery of your elderly mother who was in a home and it has devastated her and her late partner."

He said he accepted that the money was spent on paying off his debts and he was clinically depressed at the time,

However, he said it was a "mean and despicable "offence.

David Wilson, mitigating, said that Chatt was deeply ashamed.

He said that Chatt had a daughter with special needs he helped care for and said that he had been suffering with clinical depression.

"The money was not spent on high living but day-to-day living."

He said Chatt was now back in contact with his mother and he visited her at the home.

"She has forgiven him but is still very angry about what took place. He knows he has done wrong and has tried to build bridges with his mother."

After the case Det Sgt Paul Claxton, from Norfolk police adult protection unit who led the investigation, urged anyone who had concerns about a person who might be taking advantage of a vulnerable adult to contact police or social services.

"We take these complaints very seriously," he added.