Son-in-law jailed for theft of 94-year-old's care cash

Profile image for Western Morning News

By Western Morning News | Tuesday, July 03, 2012, 08:00

A businessman who admitted stealing cash from the sale of his mother-in-law's house and using it to prop up his failing company has been jailed for three years.

David Stanton, 68, helped himself to half of the £250,000 proceeds from the sale of Fanny Epps' home.

Stanton, who has a string of previous convictions for fraud and deception from the 1970s, used the money to support his mobility scooter business and maintain his lifestyle of fast cars and expensive holidays.

He left his frail victim with no money to pay for her care home fees, and her two daughters without any inheritance.

Exeter Crown Court heard that when the cash ran out Mrs Epps was moved from her double room at her nursing home to a smaller single room. She later died, aged 94, owing £12,000 in unpaid fees.

Stanton and his now ex-wife Ruth held power of attorney over Mrs Epps' finances when she sold her house in July 2002 to move into a nursing home.

Mrs Stanton trusted her husband to control the £245,209.25 and from that money he was to pay her nursing home bills.

Prosecutor James Taghdissian said: "This is a case in which the defendant has stolen a large amount of money from his deceased mother-in-law and has, the Crown say, used it for his own benefit and leading a lifestyle which otherwise would be beyond him."

Mr Taghdissian said Stanton had also used Mrs Epps' money to pay for the hire of top-of-the-range BMWs and five-star holidays.

The court heard that matters came to a head in April 2008 when the money ran out and Stanton attempted suicide.

He then lied to his wife of 29 years by claiming he was suffering from terminal cancer, Mr Taghdissian said.

The court heard that Stanton had spent £127,602 with the remainder of the near £250,000 used legitimately to pay Mrs Epps' care bills.

Mrs Stanton has since split from her husband and now lives in a one-bedroom flat in Exmouth.

At an earlier hearing, Stanton, of Victoria Place, Budleigh Salterton, East Devon, admitted theft and converting £530.75 in criminal property. No evidence was offered in two other similar charges.

Stanton, who has a "life-limiting" breathing disease, had part of a lung removed after being diagnosed with cancer in 2009.

Lee Bremridge, defending, said his client had breached a position of trust when he held power of attorney over Mrs Epps' financial affairs.

"When the business started to fail he should have changed his lifestyle, but didn't and continued to use Mrs Epps' money to continue that lifestyle," he said.

Jailing him for three years, recorder John Williams said: "You are going to go to prison. I would be failing in my public duty if I were to do anything other than that.

"It is fairly difficult to think of a greater degree of trust that would be placed in you than to look after an elderly lady's finances."

Stanton also faces at a later date a confiscation hearing under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

      

Latest Stories in Exmouth

       
      

Local Vouchers

       
  • £50 off Botox & Dermal Fillers at Beresford Clinic

    Beresford Clinic

    £50 OFF Botox and Dermal Fillers at Beresford Clinic
    01626 777027

    Terms: £50 OFF Botox and Dermal Fillers at Beresford Clinic
    01626 777027

    Contact: 01626244661

    Valid until: Sunday, August 31 2014

     
  • Up to £450 off Neff appliances when you buy a System Six Kitchen

    System Six Kitchens

    We are delighted to announce an exciting new Cashback offer on Neff appliances. Available until 31st Oct 2014 System Six Kitchens Customers will be able to receive either £150, £300 or £450 Cashback.

    Terms: For Terms and Conditions please visit https://www.systemsixkitchens.co.uk/news/view/?rid=100254

    Contact: 01392349730

    Valid until: Friday, October 31 2014

     
  • FREE VALUATION AND MARKET UPDATE

    Bradleys Estate Agents Ltd

    If you are considering selling a property then take advantage of this service from the largest independent estate agency in the South West! We will give you a realistic valuation and market update.

    Contact: 01395 224800

    Valid until: Sunday, August 31 2014

     
   

Local Jobs

       
   

Search for...

       
        
Min price is bigger than Max price
        
Min price is bigger than Max price
        
Min rent is bigger than Max rent