Leeds photographer tricked his parents out of £39,000 to save his business

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A MAN defrauded his parents out of almost £39,000 as he tried to keep his failing wedding photography business afloat, a court heard.

Asta Philpot, 35, took out loans and credit card debts shortly before his company was made bankrupt in May this year.

Leeds Crown Court was told Philpot initially used his own credit cards to try to save the business but then began obtaining finance in his mother’s and father’s name.

Lydia Carroll, prosecuting, said the offending came to light on May 20 this year when Philpot broke down in tears and confessed to his father.

Philpot later moved out of the family due to shame he felt at what he had done. Philpot pleaded guilty to four offences of fraud.

Philpot had set up the wedding photography business five years ago after being made redundant from his previous job and employed others.

The court heard Philpot, who appeared in court in an electric wheelchair, was born with arthrogryposis which affects movement in his arms and legs.

Judge Robin Mairs told the court he had read a pre-sentence report, saying: “It is one of the most powerful documents in mitigation I have ever read.”

The judge said he accepted Philpot had not committed the offence to spend money on “frivolous purposes” and had made genuine attempts to save his business.

He said: “You employed others and did not want the business to fail. When you began to suffer further ill health it was difficult to keep the business afloat.”

Philpot was given an eight month prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, and ordered to take part in a 20-day activity programme designed to address his offending behaviour.

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