Son stole from his dementia suffering mum

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A son stole more than £20,000 from his dementia sufferer mother who was being cared for at a home, a court heard.

fAnthony Stephenson of Thompsrive, Wrenthorpe, Wakefield, took £22,742 from his mother Ellen Stephenson’s bank account while she was at Nesfield Lodge care home in Belle Isle in Leeds from September 2012 until her death aged 82 in July this year.

Leeds Crown Court was told 48-year-old Stephenson had been put in control of his mother’s financial affairs because she was suffering from dementia.

Prosecutor, Kirsten Mercer said the care home lost out on £19,000 which they should have been paid for caring for Ellen Stephenson.

Miss Mercer said Mr Stephenson’s two sisters gave statements, adding: “Judith Gasparies said when she was told she was shocked and couldn’t believe what had happened. She said it was out of character for the defendant. She said she knew if her mother wasn’t suffering from dementia she would have given him money if he needed it.

“Julie Chadborn stated the defendant is a very caring person and would always put his family before himself. She said he was not a dishonest person and that his life circumstances had led him to committing this crime.”

Anthony Stephenson, who suffers health problems and uses two walking sticks, admitted theft.

Handing Stephenson a 12 month jail sentence, suspended for two years, Recorder Slater told him: “In 2012 you took over your mother’s finances when she had to go into the home.

“I accept that was something you were reluctant to do. For several years before you had encountered serious financial difficulties. You were unable to work from 2007 by reason of your medical condition.”

“You had an unsuccessful business which failed. I’m told £90,000 debts had been incurred including sums from pay day loans.

“I’m prepared to accept this was something you resorted to in desperation.”