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
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.
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.
“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.”