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Demo to save respite centre for young disabled

Demonstrators in Southampton Credit: Sam holder

Dozens of people have been protesting over plans to close a respite centre in Southampton which its users say is "vital".

The facility in Shirley is due to stop providing care in a bid to save three hundred thousand pounds. But familes say without it they'll have no break from caring for their children with severe disabilies.

Gardener jailed for stealing savings of 98-year-old

A man who was hired by an elderly woman as her gardener gained her confidence and then stole her savings of almost £170,000.

45-year-old Russell Scott Joy was trusted by Mary Brady to withdraw money from her bank for daily living expenses.

But he stole huge amounts of money and once bought a Land Rover. The family of 98-year-old Mrs Brady, who lived in Broadstone, discovered the theft after she was taken into hospital. She died earlier this month.

Joy, of High Street in Shapwick near Blandford, was sentenced to five years and one month in prison after pleading guilty to six counts of fraud by abuse of position.

In 2008 when he started working for Mrs Brady his landscaping business had failed, he owed money to his bank and he faced financial difficulties following the break-up of his marriage.

Russell Scott Joy stole from elderly woman Credit: Dorset Police
Victim Mary Brady Credit: Dorset Police

We are desperately sad about what happened to Mary. She lived such a wonderful life and Joy’s cruel actions and his abuse of her trust have tainted that.

Joy managed to completely pull the wool over the family’s eyes to hide what he was doing. The whole situation has been emotionally draining for everyone, but there is relief at the length of the sentence.

This was a very ugly end to a very beautiful life. We have wonderful memories of Mary and she will be terribly missed.”

– Mary Brady's family

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'Heir hunter' cheated victims out of £100,000

An 'heir hunter' has been given a two-year prison sentence after admitting cheating 19 victims across the UK out of almost £100,000.

Daniel Morgan Bates, 45, of Beach Gardens, Selsey, operated as 'Morgan Bates Services Ltd', researching family trees and tracing the beneficiaries to estates of deceased people.

He tracked down each person, calling them to say they were beneficiaries of unclaimed wills and got them to sign contracts so he could claim the cash for them. He agreed to pay over the sums he got from the official receiver, less his 25 per cent, but he never did, ignoring victims, becoming aggressive or using delaying tactics.

Fraudster Daniel Bates Credit: Sussex Police

We believe Bates contacted beneficiaries from various public sources including the Unclaimed Estates List published by the Bono Vacantia Division of the Government Legal Department (GLD) to give him authority over the estate. This enabled him to administer the estate without the need or expense of a solicitor. Once he obtained control of the estate, he contacted the various financial institutions to close bank accounts and once in receipt of the estate monies into his bank account, he cut off all communication with the beneficiaries, who saw nothing of their inheritance.

In many cases the family beneficiaries were vulnerable, either elderly or unaware of the legal processes involved in probate. This made them easy targets of the fraudulent activity that Bates engaged in. Families were left in limbo waiting for an update which never came. Heir hunting is an unregulated industry. This case has highlighted the importance of seeking proper legal advice where appropriate, so that any process is fully understood, before signing over valuable documents.

Bates has failed to pay back any of the victims and we will now be taking proceedings against him to seek confiscation of his available assets. There will be a hearing under the Proceeds of Crime Act at Portsmouth Crown Court on 3 November.

– Detective Constable Paul Gilmour

Reading council votes to build 'homeless hub'

Credit: ITV Meridian

Councillors in Reading have tonight voted to build its own local temporary accommodation for the homeless.

The so-called 'homeless hub', its argued, will save money instead of putting people in expensive BNB's, sometimes as far away as Slough.

The council is looking to save a further £11 million over the next three years.

Credit: ITV Meridian

Ranvir tells Fred how to 'Eat, Shop, Save'

'Eat, Shop, Save'. It's a four-week series starting on ITV tonight . And - in these tough financial times - the idea is to help families eat and live better, cook smarter and save money on the weekly shop.

Presenter Ranvir Singh is joined by a team of experts - a nutritionist, a finance guru and a fitness consultant - as they set families an eight-week target in a bid to be healthier and save cash.

Fly-tipping increases after bin collection overhaul

Credit: ITV Meridian

The amount of rubbish being dumped illegally on Reading streets has increased dramatically since the council overhauled the way bins are collected.

Five months ago, residents were told that extra bags could no longer be left out on bin day, and they would have to pay to have their green waste to be taken away.

Penny Silvester joined council enforcement officers on patrol to see the extent of the problem.

Penny spoke to resident Paul Banks and Gina Frost, a Reading Council Environment Officer.

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Elderly 'to suffer' as last island bank closes

The last bank on Portland in Dorset has closed - meaning customers now have to travel six miles to Weymouth to deal with a cashier or see their bank manager.

Lloyds Bank in Easton Square is one of 100 branches closing nationwide.

Lloyds says the number of transactions made at the branch last year dropped by almost a fifth.

Charities say it's the older generation who could suffer without it.

MP faces jury trial over false election expenses

Conservative MP Craig Mackinlay, with his wife Kati Mackinlay, leaving court this morning Credit: PA

A Conservative MP faces a jury trial on charges over his 2015 general election expenses.

Craig Mackinlay is accused of offences under the Representation of the People Act 1983 alongside campaign director Marion Little, 62, and election agent Nathan Gray, 28.

Mackinlay, from Ramsgate in Kent, arrived at Westminster Magistrates' Court on this morning with his wife Kati.

The 50-year-old is charged with two counts of knowingly making a false election expenses declaration, while his election agent Gray, of Red Oak, in Hawkhurst, Kent, faces one.

All three defendants indicated not guilty pleas when the charges were read to them and were released on unconditional bail ahead of their next appearance at Southwark Crown Court on 1st August.

Last month, Mackinlay held on to the Kent seat of South Thanet with an increased majority of 6,387, just one week after it was announced he would be prosecuted.

  1. Josh Wilde

Police ask people to be vigilant after bogus call

Credit: PA

Hampshire Police are advising members of the public to be vigilant after an 85-year-old woman from Southampton was asked to withdraw £5,000 by a man who said he was a police officer.

The woman received the bonus call on Tuesday 6 June, falsely informing her that someone in London had withdrawn money from her account. She was urged to go to the bank immediately and take out £5,000, which the caller would collect.

Thankfully, when she went to withdraw the money in Southampton High Street, eagle-eyed bank staff suspected wrongdoing and stepped in, before reporting the incident to the police.

Sarah Cohen, Hampshire Constabulary’s crime prevention advisor, praised the bank staff for their vigilance in stopping the scam, but admitted these fraudulent calls are “becoming all too common”.

She added: “If someone calls claiming to be a police officer, ask for their name and collar number, hang up and call 101 to check they are genuine.

“A genuine police officer or any official will never ask a member of the public for money in this way.”

Police are reminding people to never give out sensitive information and contact others that may be at risk to ensure they are made aware of the scam.

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