A RETIRED primary school headteacher has been jailed for taking £215,000 from an elderly woman after he was entrusted to look after her financial affairs.
Andrew Allen siphoned off the money from the bank accounts of Kathleen Steele, who was a life-long friend he knew through his local Baptist church. A court heard Allen, 60, was granted power of attorney over her financial affairs in 2007 and began to abuse the trust placed in him.
Over a three-year period Allen made around 250 illegal transactions which included cash withdrawals, transferring money into his own account and making payments to loan companies.
During the period of offending Allen, a married father-of-two, retired from teaching receiving a lump sum pension payment of £60,000.
The offences came to light a month after Mrs Steele died in a nursing home in August 2010, aged 83.
The solicitor responsible for the execution of her will contacted the police after he had a meeting with Allen and was “astonished” at the way he had behaved.
Allen, of Friary Court, Birstall, West Yorkshire, was jailed for three-and-a-half years after he pleaded guilty to three offences of fraud.
Prosecutor Sam Andrews told Leeds Crown Court that investigators were unable to trace where the money went.
The court heard a £400,000 High Court civil judgement had already been made against him. James Keeley, mitigating, said Allen’s offending was a result of “financial mismanagement”.
“There is no evidence of him having a Champagne lifestyle,” he added.
“He is deeply ashamed of himself.”