Leeds son stole £28,000 from his grieving mother

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A Leeds man stole £28,000 from his ill mother’s bank account after she received the cash in pension and death in service benefits following the deaths of her husband and a son.

Leeds Magistrates’ Court heard Jake Merritt was on police bail for that offence when he spat in a female police officer’s face and told her: “I have Hepatitis C.”

Merritt, 33, of Broadlea Crescent, Bramley, admitted stealing £28,000 from his mother between October 1 last year and April 20 2015.

He also admitted assaulting the police officer by spitting at her on April 27.

Prosecutor, Marie Austin-Walsh said Merritt’s mother had received around £34,000 in pension and death in service benefits following the deaths of her husband and a son.

The court heard his mother had been ill for some time and had been treated in hospital for depression.

Mrs Austin Walsh said: “The defendant did have her bank card and PIN number legally. He was buying food and cigarettes on her behalf. It became apparent £28,000 had been taken from the account.”

Mrs Austin-Walsh said Merritt became agitated while talking to officers when he attended at a Leeds police station on Monday this week.

She added: “He said he felt like spitting in the officer’s face.

“He spat directly at the police officer and told her ‘I have Hepatitis C.’

“Police have said they have a marker that he does have Hepatitis C.”

Mitigating, Mark Pritchard said: “He became frustrated and spat at the officer. He apologises.”

District Judge Marie Mallon committed Merritt’s case to Leeds Crown Court for sentencing on May 26. Merritt was remanded in custody.

Rohingya Muslims, who crossed over from Myanmar into Bangladesh, stretch their arms out to collect food items distributed by aid agencies near Balukhali refugee camp, Bangladesh, Monday, Sept. 18, 2017.  (AP Photo/Dar Yasin)

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