Man stole his grandfather's £14k life savings and blew it in '20 days of madness'

Christopher Parkinson
Christopher Parkinson

A thief stole his grandfather's life savings and blew the lot on treats and trips during "20 days of madness".

Christopher Parkinson took £14,000 in cash which had been hidden in two sweet tins in the 70-year-old's bedroom.

Within 20 days he had spent every penny on a car, expensive gadgets and a trip to London.

As well as helping himself to the money, Parkinson took a precious ring which belonged to his late grandmother.

Newcastle Crown Court heard the 21-year-old admitted he took the cash, while his grandad was away for Christmas, because he was bitter about receiving no inheritance when his grandmother passed away, while other family members had.

Prosecutor Emma Dowling told the court: "The money has gone, it has been spent on, I believe, a car and other items purchased by the defendant include a sound bar, an iPad, and a trip to London.

"His grandfather's life savings have been decimated by this defendant, who is not in a position to ever repay it."

The court heard the ring was returned to the victim, who had been deeply upset and said the piece of jewellery had great sentimental value.

The grandfather told police: "The money was savings for my son so he had the money to bury me and have a decent funeral."

The victim said he was "sickened and ashamed" that his own grandson had stolen from him.

Parkinson, of Roker Avenue, Sunderland, admitted theft and has been jailed for two years.

Miss recorder Jo Kidd told him: "You suggested you had some sort of entitlement to the money that constituted your grandfather's life savings.

"You did not have any entitlement to a single penny."

The judge said the theft was "callous and cruel" and added: "Your decision to spent two, maybe three weeks binge spending that money on luxury items, knowing the financial circumstances your grandfather was in, is deplorable. "

Peter Walsh, defending, said Parkinson has never been in trouble before and had suffered the loss of his father at a young age.

Mr Walsh said Parkinson's relationship with his grandfather had deteriorated after his grandmother's death.

He added: "It was 20 days of madness, the money that was spent was spent in sheer indulgence in between 14 and 21 days."

Mr Walsh said Parkinson, who has never been in trouble before, spent some of the money on rent arrears and handed himself in to the police when he came to his senses.

He added: "He wishes to apologise to his grandfather."