'You've milked your mum's account dry': Blythe Bridge woman duped sick mother
MOTHER-OF-FOUR Jennifer Hayward has been jailed after duping her sick elderly mum out of £11,483.
The 38-year-old ran her mum's finances following the death of her dad in 2009.
But instead of using her mum's bank card to buy food and cash, Hayward plundered her parents' life savings to leave the account £300 overdrawn.
Hayward used some of the cash to:
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Landscape her garden and carry out home improvements;
Buy a laptop and plasma television;
Buy clothes for herself and presents for her children;
Pay mobile phone bills and run a vehicle.
A study of 72-year-old Mrs Hayward's account identified 250 suspicious transactions. The defendant, who received a carer's allowance on top of her other benefits, accepted making 190 transactions without her mum's permission.
Hayward, of Bridgewood Road, Blythe Bridge, who has no previous convictions, pleaded guilty to fraud.
Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court yesterday heard Hayward's offending has left her mother feeling 'very angry'. The pensioner told police she had trusted her daughter with her life.
But she is now trying to save money by not putting on her heating and going short of food. And she is worried she will not be able to pay for repairs to her home.
Anis Ali, mitigating, said Hayward became a mother for the fourth time 10 weeks ago.
"Very strong family ties have broken down irretrievably," said Mr Ali. "That is significant punishment in itself."
Mr Ali said the money was taken over a period of time and Hayward has not offended since.
He added that her current partner remains supportive but is in full-time employment.
Mr Ali added: "A custodial environment would impact on her and her children. She has learnt a lesson. She is remorseful, embarrassed and ashamed."
But Judge Paul Glenn said Hayward's offending was a gross breach of trust and jailed her for 16 months.
"It is so serious, nothing else is appropriate," he said.
Judge Glenn said: "The victim of this fraud was your own mother. She gave you her bank card and pin number to help her out with her pension and shopping.
"She had previously had a stroke and has no use of her left arm and limited mobility. She trusted you explicitly. Your sister drew your mother's attention to an unpaid meals on wheels bill, something you had been asked to pay and were provided with money to pay.
"Your mother obtained a bank statement. It showed her account was significantly overdrawn. She was shocked by that.
"In the aftermath, that lady has been worried about spending money, about putting the heating on and often going to bed feeling hungry.
"You milked your mother's account dry."