December 12 2013 Latest news:
Thursday, September 5, 2013
A fraudster who conned a care home resident out of more than £3,500 has been spared jail.
Edward Ampleford used his elderly victim’s savings to pay for takeaways, buy train tickets and even pay off his rent arrears over a three-month period after getting access to the account.
The 31-year-old’s thefts were only spotted when banks flagged up the unusual account activity to a friend of the victim, who had power of attorney over him.
Magistrates in Norwich yesterday told Ampleford, of Lowry Cole Road, Sprowston, that his offences passed the threshhold for a jail term – but that they would be suspending the four-week sentence for 18 months.
He must also complete 250 hours of unpaid work and pay £1,720.28 in compensation, and an £80 victim surcharge.
Ampleford had previously pleaded guilty to five charges of fraud by false representation between December 2012 and March 2013 and asked for 15 further offences to be taken into consideration.
He also admitted breaching a conditional discharge given to him on July 30 last year for possession of cocaine.
Ampleford used Mr Jermy’s savings to buy £1,200 of Apple products, clear rent arrears of £1,100, pay off £506.68 of a loan and purchase £187 of train tickets.
Prosecutor Lisa Britton said Ampleford’s victim, Dennis Jermy, was a “vulnerable and elderly” resident at a care home in Horstead, who struggled to feed himself or hold a conversation.
When sums began to go missing from his account, his attorney was called and police traced the missing money to Ampleford, her neighbour.
“[Ampleford] had obtained the victim’s bank details and used them in various transactions,” said Miss Britton. “He said a friend had obtained them from Mr Jermy’s post. He charged several items but would not reveal how he had got the details.”
In mitigation, Elizabeth Creissen said Ampleford accepted what he had done was “despicable”, and had cooperated with police. She said he had struggled with drug and money problems but was seeking help and asked magistrates to consider the impact on his family if he were jailed.
She said: “A potential custodial sentence has given him a real wake-up call. It’s not until this has come to a head that he has realised this is something he needs to deal with or else it’s going to get much worse for him.”