A Hartlepool couple have been jailed for more than two years each for stealing GBP100,000 from their mentally incapable godmother’s estate.
Andrew Reeve arranged to have himself appointed as co-signatory to Joan Killen’s bank accounts in January 2009, after the 91-year-old was admitted to a care home suffering from dementia. Within two years the account balance had plummeted from GBP130,000 to GBP3,000.
Reeve used some of the money to pay Mrs Killen’s care home fees, but much of it went to pay off his wife’s credit card bill, buy a new car for one of their sons and improve their own home. Ultimately the old lady’s care home bills were being left unpaid. Council officials investigated her finances and uncovered the fraud.
The Reeves denied the offences but were convicted at Teesside Crown Court, where it also emerged that they had rented out her home when she went into care, and kept the income for themselves. Lesley Reeve also claimed and kept the old lady’s pension.
In mitigation, defence counsel told the court the Reeves had expected to inherit Joan Killen’s estate. The couple will now be the subject of recovery proceedings under the Proceeds of Crime Act.