Gambling addict stole £20,000 from ailing father to spend in betting shops

A military veteran has avoided prison, despite stealing and gambling away more than £20,000 from his 93-year-old dad.

By Richard Beecham
Saturday, 2nd July 2022, 4:45 am
Updated Monday, 4th July 2022, 11:24 am

When confronted about the crime, gambling addict Paul Ramsey, 68, of Cow Pasture Road, Ilkley, told his sister that his father had been spending his money "on cigarettes".

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A sentencing hearing at Leeds Crown Court heard how in 2020, Paul Ramsey got in touch with his father, George Ramsey, after being estranged from him for 30 years.

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The case was heard in Leeds Crown Court.

The defendant's sister had been looking after George Ramsey's financial affairs, as he was ill and living in a care home.

However, when getting back in touch, Paul Ramsey asked his father for his bank book, bank statements and the deeds to the family home.

George Ramsey, then 93, informed his daughter that he would instead be leaving the house, understood to be worth around £200,000, to the defendant. George Ramsey's daughter then had to step away from looking after her father's finances.

George Ramsey's daughter was then contacted by her father's bank, telling her there was no more money in Mr Ramsey's account to pay the care home bills.

After contacting the bank, a family member found more than £20,000 had been spent in William Hill, BetFred and Ladbrokes betting shops between May 20 and August 16, 2021. A further £306 was spent in Kwik Fit, while £578 was spent in Scarborough. This was said to be almost all of George Ramsey's savings, as well as his monthly pension payment.

When Paul Ramsey was confronted about this by his sister, he denied it, instead claiming his father had been spending all his money on cigarettes.

This was despite the bank confirming around £100 a day was being spend by the account in betting shops.

The court was told that, despite George Ramsey - who has since died - claiming he was leaving the house to Paul Ramsey, that the beneficiary of his estate was in fact his daughter.

Paul Ramsey had pleaded guilty to fraud by false representation.

Mitigating, Soheil Khan said: "He is 68 years old now. He is not only someone of previous good character, but of positive character.

"He is well-regarded by his family and this behaviour was borne out of depression, culminating in a gambling habit.

"He served in the Royal Army for 27 years, in the tank regiment.

"He has lost considerable face as a result of this shameful offending - he has had to live out of a caravan."

Sentencing Ramsey, Recorder Marco Giuliani said: "Your father was 93 and living in a care home at the time. You came back into his life while you had a gambling habit and significant debts.

"You chose to steal from him because he was vulnerable and an easy target.

"As a result of your abuse of your father, your sister was forced to step back from looking after him.

"If he had lived, he would not have been able to remain in the care home where he was established and comfortable."

Paul Ramsey attempted to interrupt, to which Rec Giuliani angrily ordered him to be quiet.

"You abused your position of trust towards him," Rec Giuliani added. "You took all his money and stopped your sister from taking care of him."

He sentenced Ramsey to two years in prison, suspended for two years, as well as a curfew from 2pm-5am for six months.