Mum of £460,000 Harrogate swindler dies

The widow of a military hero and former royal aide died yesterday, just hours before winning a legal battle with her jailed son.

Former Royal Dragoons officer Captain Michael Pain swindled his mother out of 460,000 after his sisters trusted him to look after their elderly mother, Lady Denys Pain.

But a court heard that her son turned off the heating at the family's stately home, claiming it was broken, and left her a penniless pensioner.

Capt Pain was jailed for three years last March for swindling his mother, and, yesterday, a judge ordered him to hand over all his assets, totalling 166,000, in compensation or face another two-and-a-half years in jail.

But after the hearing, Lady Pain's son-in-law revealed that she had died in a hospice at 7.30am yesterday, 10 days after suffering a stroke.

Sean Mahony broke the news, saying: "It is a victory for the family, but a hollow one. Lady Pain knew nothing about these proceedings. It is all very sad."

Michael Pain, 52, of Harrogate, who was at the hearing at York Crown Court, sitting in Harrogate, was given the news of his mother's death by his solicitor.

Capt Pain was entrusted to look after his mother, who lived at Eddlethorpe Hall, near Malton, when her husband, Lieutenant-General Sir Rollo Pain, died in 2005.

When he was jailed, Pain, who ran an equestrian business was told by the judge: "You subsidised your business and family in an unlawful way by plundering the accounts of your mother."

Pain, 52, was said to have used his mother's money to support his failing business.

Yesterday, Recorder Miss Deborah Sherwin ordered that assets of 166,834 which Capt Pain had should be paid in compensation under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Lady Pain's husband, Lieutenant General Sir Rollo Pain won the Military

Cross in the Second World War and was an aide-de-camp to The Queen.

The family home, sitting in 12 acres land, and bought by the Pains 60 years ago, is now up for sale for 950,000.

After the hearing, Detective Constable Neil Jefferson said: "This was a serious abuse by Michael Pain of his mother's trust."

Tony Burdin, chief executive of Sheffield Mutual Friendly Society

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