A FRAIL widow has told how she hid inside her home with the lights off to stop her grandson taking her life savings by continuously asking her for cash.
Hilda Temple, 86, said she has been living in fear of grandson David Chadwick, 34, who has now been banned from contacting her after pestering her for money.
Mrs Temple, who lives on her state pension and widow’s pension, had to dip into her life savings to satisfy Chadwick’s requests for cash, which dates back to when he was a teenager.
Sunderland magistrates were told how the pensioner even gave her son, Jim, her bank books, so she would not have access to her own money to give to her grandson, who demanded up to £200 a fortnight.
Prosecutor Jeanette Smith said Mrs Temple used to have a good relationship with Chadwick until he was 14 or 15, when he started to visit only when he needed money.
Handing over control of her bank books did nothing to stop Chadwick, who continued to visit his grandmother’s home in Baltimore Court, Concord, asking for smaller amounts he knew she had.
“He would keep on and on until he got the money,” Mrs Temple said in a victim statement read out in court.
“I’m 86 years old and my only income is my state pension and small widow’s pension. The money came out of that and my savings.”
On New Year’s Eve, Chadwick arrived at the door again and demanded she hand over £30, the court heard.
“I had no money at all. I tried to ring my son Jim, but he took the phone out of my hand.
“He threw the phone on the floor, he kicked the living room door and shut the front door heavily,” Mrs Temple’s statement went on.
“I have had enough of David coming to my house. I want it to stop.
“I only get two hours of sleep a night with the worry. I feel always on edge that he will knock on my door.” In January, Chadwick received a warning under the Harassment Act.
However, Chadwick was arrested on February 21 after he turned up again.
The court was told Mrs Temple asked him to go away, but was “fearful of a scene” so was forced to let him in.
“My intention was to let him in and show him my empty purse, that I had no money in it, but he walked past me,” she said in the statement.
“I just want David to stay away and stop harassing me for money. I can’t stand the upset and commotion he is causing to me and my son Jim.
“I’m 86 now. I don’t want to go to court. It would make me ill.”
Chadwick was released on bail on condition he stopped contacting Mrs Temple. The next day, she received a phone call from her grandson.
Chadwick, of Coast Road Estate, Concord, initially denied harassing Mrs Temple, but changed his plea to guilty on the day of a trial.
District Judge Roger Elsey adjourned the case until May 20 for a pre-sentence report to be prepared.