Sunderland man who stole from his own mother goes back to jail after thieving from another relative

David Webster has been jailed for 18 months, with a lifelong restraining order to keep him away from his latest victim.
David Webster has been jailed for 18 months, with a lifelong restraining order to keep him away from his latest victim.

A Sunderland man who was jailed for taking £114,000 from his mother is back behind bars after stealing cash from a relative with learning difficulties.

David Webster, 61, lost his freedom, his home and his personalised car number plate for helping himself to money from his mum's account so he could splash out on foreign holidays and a new motor.

Newcastle Crown Court heard when his dishonesty was made public, a carer looking after the fraudster's brother-in-law, who has severe problems and needs daily support, came forward.

The court heard Webster, who was the man's only living relative, had power of attorney over his financial affairs, which sparked the carer's concern.

Prosecutor Elizabeth Muir told the court: "When it transpired he had been sent to prison for 30 months for the offences against his mother, the carer became concerned.

"She requested copies of the man's bank statements.

"There had been £8,655 withdrawn from the account, over and above the amounts he was authorised to withdraw."

The court heard Webster, a former security worker, had been authorised to take £100 per week from the man's account to give to the carer for his food and bills, but had helped himself to the extra amount between 2012 and 2016.

The dishonesty has had a devastating impact on the latest victim, who said in a statement: "I think about it every day, I have even dreamed about it.

"It has completely shattered my trust in everyone. I find it hard to put into words how bad this has affected me."

The man said he has lived in fear of bumping into Webster since he was released from his last jail term.

Webster was interviewed by the police about the latest offences while he was still in prison.

Miss Muir added: "He accepted he had been spending and withdrawing from the account. He had travelling to Russia, bought shopping, clothes and petrol."

Webster, of South Durham Court, Hendon, who was released from prison on licence, admitted theft of £8,655 and has now gone back to jail.

Judge Sarah Mallett sentenced Webster to 18 months behind bars, with a lifelong restraining order to keep him away from his latest victim.

The judge told him: "This was sustained, over a period of time, against such a vulnerable family member.

"Despite your release from custody for very similar offences and your progress on licence, it is not appropriate, in my view, to suspend that sentence."

Tony Cornberg, defending, said Webster, who is a grandfather, has found a new home and lived a settled life since his release from prison.

The court heard Webster had received a total of two and a half years behind bars in 2016.

Between January 1, 2009, and December 31, 2015, he had taken around £1,000 a month from his mother's pension and benefit packets until she died.

Prosecutors pursued him under the Proceeds of Crime Act, and £85,300 in assets, including his home and personal number plate, were seized to pay off arrears at his late mum's care home and be added to her estate.