A pensioner fleeced her younger brother of £60,000 when she was put in legal charge of his financial affairs after he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.
Lily Raimond, 74, was jailed for 16 months after a court heard she carried out the “shocking” deception over a four year period.
Leeds Crown Court heard Raimond plundered her brother’s bank account in order to spend money on herself. She also arranged for his benefits and pension payments to be paid into her own bank account and kept a life assurance payout for herself after his death despite not being entitled to it.
Duncan Ritchie, prosecuting, said Raimond was put in legal charge of her brother Stephen’s finances in February 2009 after he was diagnosed with the condition.
Throughout the period of offending he lived in nursing homes.
Mr Ritchie said Mr Raimond had a “healthy” bank balance of £15,000 when his sister took charge of his finances.
The prosecutor said: “Within 12 months that had been reduced to nothing despite the fact that benefits and pension payments had been paid.”
Raimond then arranged for a further £15,000 to be transferred from his savings account.
The court heard the victim also had equity in a house occupied by his ex-wife.
Mr Ritchie said: “It seems that the defendant took steps in 2011 to force Mr Raimond’s ex-wife to effectively pay out Mr Raimond’s share of the equity and Mr Raimond’s ex-wife re-mortgaged the house to pay £76,000.”
The court heard only £47,000 of that sum was ever paid into Mr Raimond’s account.
Mr Raimond’s nursing home fees fell into arrears in 2012 and it was noted by his carers that Raimond had failed to provide adequate money for clothing and toiletries for her brother.
Mr Ritchie said: “It was noted that he had a wardrobe containing only a small amount of clothes and staff at the nursing home were having to buy toiletries and clothes for him out of their own money.
“The defendant was an infrequent visitor to see her brother.”
Mr Ritchie added: “It is not possible to be precise about the amounts but she made cash withdrawals from Mr Raimond’s account and she spent money on high street shops and on things that were plainly not for her brother’s benefit.”
The offending came to light after Mr Raimond died, aged 68, on October 2013.
It was discovered that his nursing home fees were £9,000 in arrears and that she had kept a life assurance policy of £250 for herself.
Raimond, of Elmfield Court, Morley, had also arranged for her brother’s benefits and pension to be paid to her own account. Raimond initially told lies to police in a bid to cover up her offending. She pleaded guilty to theft.
Steven Nikolich, mitigating, said Raimond had worked as a cook for 30 years but was in debt when she had taken over on responsibilities for her brother.
He said: “With hindsight she should have taken advice about her responsibilities. Things spiralled out of control.”
Jailing Raimond, judge Jacqueline Davis said: “This was a shocking way to treat your brother and his family and you obviously thought you could get away with it because of his mental condition.
“You spent the money in order to make your own life more comfortable.”