Man stole £60,000 from his sick aunty’s savings

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A TRUSTED nephew “frittered away” £60,000 belonging to his dementia suffering aunt after plundering her savings for himself.

Heartless Graeme Hunt was given power of attorney over 81-year-old Audrey Peverley’s financial affairs when the frail pensioner sold her £135,000 house and moved into a care home in Shiney Row in 2007.

But until he was collared in 2010, the 52-year-old simply looked after his own interests, helping himself to her cash and using some of it to gamble.

Today Hunt is starting a two year sentence for the abuse of trust which left his aunt unable to pay for her care home fees.

Prosecutor Stuart Michie told Newcastle Crown Court yesterday: “Amounts of money were disappearing, quite large sums of money over a regular period, four thousand, five thousand, six thousand and seven thousand pounds would be disappearing.”

Hunt, of Weardale Crescent, Penshaw, admitted fraud on the basis he took nearer £60,000, not £72,610 as prosecutors claim.

The court heard it was after social services discovered the discrepancies in Miss Peverley’s accounts the police were called in.

The dad-of-two admitted what he had done and told police the money had gone on “bits and pieces” including food and gambling.

The court heard Miss Peverley is unaware of what her nephew has done to her.

It is understood that due to the stolen money, and £20,000 per year care home costs, the pensioner has no money left.

It is believed the local authority will take over the costs of her care.

Mr Michie told the court: “Miss Peverley is still in the home, obviously in no better state.

“I understand the police have never spoken to her or taken a statement because of her frail mental state.”

Judge Michael Cartlidge jailed Hunt for two years.

The judge said: “He abused his position of power of attorney in relation to the estate of Miss Peverley.”

Mark Styles, defending, said Hunt did not blow the cash on “high living”.

Mr Styles added there was one family holiday and “the rest seems to have been frittered away”.

He said: “Some seems to have gone on gambling, some on general day to day living.

“There is nothing left, nothing has been recovered, he has nothing to show for it.”