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Son stole £55,000 from mother with dementia

A man stole £55,000 from his mother's bank accounts over six years Credit: PA

A man has been handed a suspended sentence for stealing tens of thousands of pounds from his own mother, who was suffering from dementia.

Eileen Tozer's son Michael had spent six years withdrawing money from her bank accounts and using it to pay off his debts.

The thefts were investigated in January last year, when relatives of 90-year-old Eileen told police that they were worried that her 62-year-old son was taking money from her accounts.

While Eileen suffered with the late stages of dementia in a care home, police discovered that her son - a plumber from Tattershall Road in Kirkstead, Lincolnshire - had withdrawn about £55,000 in cash over the years.

The defendant made admissions during police interviews and he entered a guilty plea in court.

On Febraury 9, Tozer was handed a two year suspended sentence and a requirement to work 250 hours.

Tozer was sentenced at Lincoln Crown Court Credit: PA

Police say he had been suffering with mental illness and depression for many years, and that he showed great remorse for what he had done. He has agreed to make sure that the money is repaid.

Tozer's mother died just before Christmas, and was never aware of the investigation or of the fact that her son had stolen money from her.

Police are urging any family with relatives that start suffering with this tragic illness to consider seeking joint powers of attorney at an early stage to help protect their money Credit: PA

“This tragic story just shows how responsibility and temptation can end up tearing a family apart.

"Dementia and similar illnesses need families to seek advice about the future and make sure that measures are put in place to safeguard a vulnerable person's financial affairs.

"This has been a deeply emotional time for the whole family and clearly shows the potential dangers and the repercussions for people who are left in positions of trust and choose to cross the line.

"It was only because of the exceptional circumstances of this particular case that the defendant was not sent to prison and this needs to be seen as a warning to other families who find themselves in a similar position.

"Do not avoid the issue - seek advice and use the powers available to protect those vulnerable people in our families."

– A/DI Jim Hodgson, of Lincolnshire Police

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