Man stole half his step-grandad’s pension pot

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A young man who repeatedly stole from a retired relative ended up taking half his pension pot, a court has heard.

The victim had allowed Bradley Williams and his girlfriend to move into his home in Argyle Street, Hindley, for about six months and did not realise Williams was stealing from his bank account.

Liverpool Crown Court heard that the pensioner, Peter Pudney, who had taken his £32,000 pension pot, did not regularly check his bank balance but in August last year he saw on his statement that £600 was missing from the account.

He reported the matter to the police suspecting the problem was with the bank but in November he discovered that more money had been taken and investigations showed that a total of £17,662 had been stolen.

Edmund Haygarth, prosecuting, said that the money had been taken out from cash machines and via direct debits to organisations including O2, River Island and JD Sports.

Mr Pudney, who was Williams’ step-grandfather, realised that sometimes his wallet went missing and would be returned by Williams or his girlfriend.

Mr Haygarth said that the missing money amounted to more than half the victim’s pension pot. When interviewed 29-year-old Williams initially denied being responsible but later admitted it.

He went on to plead not guilty to theft but a month before his trial was due he changed his plea to guilty.

Jailing him for 26 weeks Judge Denis Watson, QC, said that the victim gave Williams his bank card from time to time to use for him and Williams knew the pin number.

“You were using the bank card to withdraw £400 day after day,” he added.

The judge said that Mr Pudney, described by Williams as being 61, now has trust issues and had suffered emotional distress and loss of confidence.

Michael McKeown, defending, said Williams had a low IQ and had initially pleaded not guilty as he was worried about his family’s reaction.

He has no previous convictions and now lives with his girlfriend in Hope Hey Lane, Little Hulton, Salford. He wants to pay the money back and hopes to get a job washing cars but currently they only have £350 a month benefits between them.

He said that Williams was remorseful and had offered to pay back the money at £20 per month but Mr McKeown said he had pointed out to the defendant that at that rate it would take 75 years.

Mr McKeown told the court that Williams said that two men had taken a photograph of the bank card and used the details to set up the direct debits for themselves. He had only benefitted by about half the stolen amount and had used it buying scrap cars.