A MAN with power of attorney over his late mother’s affairs spent nearly £3,000 of her savings on internet dating sites such as “Hot Russian Brides,” a court heard.
Stephen Jones, aged 53, of South Penrallt, Caernarfon, was jailed for 13 months at the town’s crown court after he admitted fraud.
The prosecution said he spent £18,500 on himself and, a few weeks after her death in March last year, sent a letter to his family warning that there was only enough money left to pay for the mother’s funeral.
Richard Edwards, prosecuting, said a family meeting was arranged at a restaurant to discuss what had happened.
He added: “When the defendant arrived his first question was effectively whether they were going to give him a criminal record for what he had done.”
Lorry driver Jones told police he had been struggling financially after his wife died.
But he had bought expensive spectacles, spent £890 on Amazon, and he paid £587 for an airline ticket for a Ukrainian woman to fly to Britain, after chatting to her, which she then didn’t use.
Mr Edwards added: “He said he did what he did and he had permission to do so.”
However, his mother had dementia.
Matthew Curtis, defending, said Jones was remorseful. His late wife had been earning £45,000-a- year but they were in debt.
Mr Curtis added: “He recognises taking on the responsibility of power of attorney wasn’t sensible.”
Mr Curtis said that Jones would find it impossible to loan money to repay his siblings.
Judge Merfyn Hughes QC said Jones was the youngest of four children. He had spent money on luxury items and “by no means items you needed to keep your head above water.”
Judge Hughes said he had “completely exhausted” the modest savings of his late mother.
An aggravating feature was that it had been an “attack” on his mother’s savings at a time when she was unable to do anything for herself.
Judge Hughes added: “Secondly the victims are your own siblings.”