Pensioner jailed for 'exploiting' elderly widow

Anthony Powell Credit: Kent Police

A pensioner who 'exploited' an elderly and vulnerable widow in order to steal more than £100,000 from her has been jailed for more than two years.

73 year old Anthony Powell of Harrow Road in Gillingham, Kent, wrote out three blank cheques to himself in the space of four months after befriending 90 year old Hester Herby.

He was said to have taken advantage of her age and confusion, and forged her signature to release an investment policy, a court heard.

Powell even claimed to be her next of kin when she was in hospital following a fall, and following his arrest branded Mrs Herby manipulative and a heavy drinker who had 'made advances' towards him.

While a judge accepted Powell had not embarked on his friendship with Mrs Herby with the aim of conning her, he said he had 'targeted' her vulnerability.

You took the opportunity, perhaps because of her failing health, to steal that sum. There was a degree of planning. It was a mean offence and the upset and harm to your victim was obvious... While it is a case involving money, it also involves a breach of trust and exploitation of a vulnerable and elderly person."

– Judge Philip St.John-Stevens