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England and Wales Court of Appeal (Criminal Division) Decisions
You are here: BAILII >> Databases >> England and Wales Court of Appeal (Criminal Division) Decisions >> TJC, R v  EWCA Crim 1276 (21 July 2015)
Cite as:  EWCA Crim 1276
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ON APPEAL FROM THE CROWN COURT AT MOLD
Mr Recorder Wyn Lloyd Jones
Strand, London, WC2A 2LL
B e f o r e :
MR JUSTICE SIMON
MRS JUSTICE PATTERSON
|- and -
M Dunford for the Respondent
Hearing date : 7 July 2015
Crown Copyright ©
Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd, CJ :
"STATEMENT OF OFFENCE
FRAUD, contrary to section 1 of the Fraud Act 2006.
PARTICULARS OF OFFENCE
TJC between the 26th day of February 2010 and the 1st day of June 2012 committed fraud in that, dishonestly and intending thereby to make a gain for herself or another, or to cause loss to another or to expose another to risk of loss, abused her position of holder of a lasting power of attorney, in which she was expected to safeguard or not act against the financial interests of another, namely JW, by using monies belonging to the said JW for the benefit of herself and others, in breach of section 4 of the Fraud Act 2006."
i) The defendant's father had been born in 1926. He had three children, one of whom was the defendant and one her brother; the third child died. He lived in a house in a town in North Wales. He became widowed. He lived alone at that property. He had savings in the Post Office, bank accounts and a flexible investment bond with Canada Life. He had a pension of over £2,000 per month.
ii) In about 2009 the father began to exhibit symptoms of dementia. A lasting power of attorney was drawn up and signed by the father in October 2009, with the defendant being appointed the sole attorney for her father. Her brother signed the lasting power of attorney the following month, agreeing to be a replacement attorney in the event that the defendant was unable to carry out the role.
iii) In February 2010 a medical specialist determined that the father did not have the mental capacity to understand his affairs. The defendant then registered the lasting power attorney with the Office of the Public Guardian on 27 February 2010. From that time onwards, the defendant exercised the powers under the lasting power of attorney over the moneys and other property, including the house owned by the father. He died in October 2013.
iv) Between 27 February 2010, the date of the registration of the lasting power of attorney, and November 2010 the father lived in his own home. During that period, all the regular bills such as utilities and council tax were paid by standing order from the father's bank account. In November 2010, the defendant moved her father from his own home into her home and allowed her daughter and friends to live in his house rent free. In November 2011 the father's mental health deteriorated and he was moved into a care home on a full time basis at a cost of £506 per week; that sum was paid directly from the father's account to the nursing home.
v) At about the beginning of 2012 the defendant's brother had sight of one of the bank statements. As a result of this, he contacted the Office of the Public Guardian. Sonia Hanson, an investigator working for the Office, commenced investigations which showed that significant sums had been withdrawn from the bank accounts and transferred into the defendant's own account, that the flexible investment bond with Canada Life had had funds withdrawn from it and substantial cash withdrawals had been made from other accounts.
vi) As a result of her findings, Sonia Hanson contacted the North Wales police and a criminal investigation began.
vii) That eventually resulted in a single count indictment in form identical to the one we have already set out but covering the period until 19 January 2013.
The hearing before the Recorder
"The prosecution say that once you have considered all of the evidence in this case, including the large amount of money withdrawn by the defendant from her father's accounts, the regular standing orders and the bank transfers she was making from her father's accounts to her own, her failure to keep any record of the expenditure of her father's money, the car bills and credit card purchases clearly for her own benefit and paid for with her father's money and the £6,000 spent on a new kitchen for her own property you will be satisfied of her guilt."
The advocate then went through all the documentation with the jury.
i) How much would it reasonably cost to care for one elderly gentleman suffering from dementia on a month by month basis?
ii) Did the amounts being withdrawn and transferred by the defendant far exceed that which would reasonably be required to care for her father?
The Recorder's decision