Carer stole from terminally ill Leeds pensioner

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A CARER who plundered £1,500 from a dying former Leeds pub landlord’s bank account wept in the dock at Leeds Crown Court as he was jailed.

Leeds Adult Social Care arranged for Ethan Brown to make daily visits to cook, dress and care for terminally ill 73-year-old Joseph Robertshaw at his home in Belle Vue Road, Hyde Park.

The court heard Brown, 24, took Mr Robertshaw’s bank card without permission on a string of occasions over 14 days in February and March.

Brown, of Ebor Street, Hyde Park, withdrew cash and used the card in local shops.

Mr Robertshaw, who was suffering from heart and lung disease, died on June 3.

Brown, who admitted theft from Joseph Robertshaw, was jailed for 18 weeks.

Mr Robertshaw’s niece Debbie Hall, 55, discovered the thefts after checking her uncle’s bank statements.

Brown denied stealing the cash until he was told CCTV footage showed he was using the card at the relevant times.

Miss Hall said after the sentencing hearing: “Ethan Brown’s total lack of compassion towards my terminally ill uncle, his total disregard for the consequences of his theft and the fact he carried on repeatedly and blatantly stealing and spending my uncle Joseph’s money is totally despicable and shocking.

“If Ethan Brown wanted money he could have asked for it. Instead he chose to steal all of what little money my uncle Joseph had, leaving me to pay for my uncle Joseph’s funeral.”

Joseph Robertshaw ran pubs including the Hope and Anchor, which he re-named the New Penny, in The Calls, Leeds in the 1970s. He also ran the Harbour Lights pub in Bridlington and was a club singer using the stage name Mel Tyler.

After his retirement he was a caller for 13 years at Mecca Bingo in Crossgates and Hunslet.

Mitigating, Mark Foley said Brown had been suffering from depression and had suffered domestic abuse at the hands of a violent partner, adding: “He blindly took the money in one sense to appease that violent partner. “This is not an act that is in keeping with his normal character. He is remorseful. He told me is appalled and horrified at what he has done.”

Jailing Brown for 18 weeks, Judge Peter Hunt told him the theft was a gross breach of trust and was “wicked offending.”

Tony Burdin, chief executive of Sheffield Mutual Friendly Society

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