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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Gambling Addict Fleeces Dying Mom

South Shields son stole £52,000 from his dying mother to funding gambling and treats

David Rylance from South Shields, has been jailed for fleecing his mum when she was struck down with Alzheimer's

David Rylance, jailed for fleecing his dying mother
David Rylance, jailed for fleecing his dying mother
A thieving son fleeced his dying mother out of more than £50,000 and blew it on gambling and treats.
David Rylance was appointed to look after the financial affairs of Margaret Rylance when she was struck down with Alzheimer’s.
But for four years the 47-year-old helped himself to large amounts of money – even continuing to plunder her estate after her death.
A court heard that as well as blowing sums on online bets, he also spent it on a holiday, cinema tickets and itunes vouchers.
Now Rylance, never in trouble before, has been jailed for 27 months for the betrayal of trust.
Newcastle Crown Court heard Mrs Rylance had suspected someone was stealing her money but her concerns were dismissed because of her illness.
Locking up Rylance, Judge Penny Moreland said: “It’s hard to imagine someone more vulnerable than an elderly lady with Alzheimer’s, unable to protect herself from you accessing her accounts and taking what you wanted.
“This was a gross breach of trust.”

Mrs Rylance had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2009 and her son was appointed to deal with her financial affairs.

But it wasn’t long before he started helping himself to her funds.

Tim Gittins, prosecuting, said: “It was apparent on analysis of the accounts that there were regular transfers of money to the defendant’s own account that were then gambled with, mainly with online gambling agencies.

“From time to time he made transfers back, having won money gambling.

“However over the period until 2013, only a proportion of the money taken was returned, leaving in respect of those transfers a deficit of £28,500.”

The court heard that in addition to transferring money into his account, Rylance also gambled online directly from his mother’s account.

In one month alone he bet £8,000 but he had a number of wins and the net loss was just over £2,000.
Mr Gittins said; “There were also payments to third parties, including for a holiday, cinema tickets, and itunes vouchers, just short of £3,000.”
In January 2013 Mrs Rylance became so poorly she had to become a full-time resident in a care home.

The court heard that she would have been able to pay fees for the care home but for the fact Rylance had stolen so much. As a result the council had to pay fees of around £13,000.

Mrs Rylance died in July 2013 but her son continued stealing her money for a further month until the account was empty.

Mr Gittins said: “It would seem, despite Mrs Rylance’s death in July 2013, when the balance of her account was just over £1,000, the defendant continued to use the appointee account until September 23, depleting the value to zero following her death.”

In total, Rylance took £39,056 from the account plus a further £13,000 from Lloyds and Virgin bank accounts.
Mr Gittins said: “There was obvious distress caused by the defendant’s actions, his sister says in her victim impact statement that she was devastated.
“She says it was a physical blow on finding out the truth.
“There had been concerns expressed before her death by Mrs Rylance about money going missing and the like and to a certain extent it was put down to her deteriorating condition.

“The sister says her mother and father had very little when they started out and they had built this up by working very hard. They are devastated to find out the money had been spent in the way it had by the defendant.”

The court heard despite the thefts, there was sufficient money in Mrs Rylance’s estate to go to her daughter and other son as their inheritance, as planned.

Rylance, of Oxford Street, South Shields, admitted theft and fraud and was jailed for 27 months.

Vic Laffey, defending, said: “He expresses appropriate shame and remorse for what has happened.

“He has no previous convictions, has worked hard all his life but was in the grip of quite significant financial problems and had a debilitating gambling addiction.

“He tried to get himself out of a hole but all he achieved was to dig himself further in.”

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