Man jailed after stealing £99k from his mum

Craig Clark
Craig Clark

POLICE have released this picture of a man, sent to prison for taking £99,000 from his mother’s bank account while she suffered from dementia.

Craig Clark, 38, was said to have taken tens of thousands of pounds from his mother, Agnes, after she became seriously ill.

The court heard he did not even visit his mum for the last few years of her life at Ashdown Nursing Home, in Worthing, and did not pay outstanding nursing home fees of around £36,000 towards her care.

Judge Claudia Ackner slammed Clark, of Melrose Avenue, Portslade, at Chichester Crown Court when sentencing him on Friday (August 19).

She said: “Even after this matter came to the attention of the police you continued to draw out what funds remained.

“You spent on luxuries what most families would not be able to afford. You bought presents, holidays and cars.

“But this was not the worst of it. You didn’t visit your mother to provide her with the essential requirements.

“You didn’t do this for the last few years of her life. It was, therefore, necessary for the nursery home to solicit those needs.

“You felt this was a waste of time and wanted the family to benefit from her money.

“You didn’t wait until she died to do that.”

Money was taken from Mrs Clark’s bank account between September 9, 2007, and October 10, 2010, after the sale of her property for £137,000.

She became seriously ill and went into a care home in 2007.

The following year, she was moved to Ashdown Nursing Home, in Shakespeare Road.

Clark had the power of attorney over her financial affairs for three years.

She died in October last year.

Kriston Berlevy, prosecuting, said he took up to £99,900.

He said: “Letters were written to Clark that just over £36,000 in fees remained unpaid (to the nursing home).

“The local authority also had to contribute money for her care, just more than £4,000.

“It is right to say during this lady’s stay this defendant did not visit her.”

He added: “He frittered the money away.

“Clark would say the money was spent on perfectly appropriate family expenditure.

“That included holidays abroad, purchases of items such as children’s play things in the back garden.

“It is not certain what he did with all the money. One thing is for certain, the sale of his mother’s home is gone.”

When police arrested Clark he pleaded guilty to fraud on July 29 this year.

He was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment and must serve one half in custody before being released on licence. He must comply with the terms of the licence.

Under the Proceeds of Crime Act the benefit figure of £90,000 is currently being assessed.

A total of £3,500 was ordered to be confiscated for compensation towards the nursing home company New Care Homes, which owns Ashdown Nursing Home. Clark was given six months to pay that.