‘Disgraceful’ mum behind bars for stealing daughters’ £50k inheritance | UK | News | EUROtoday

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A “thoroughly dishonest” mom who stole the £50,000 inheritance left to her daughters by their grandmother has been jailed for greater than two years. Katherine Hill, 53, labored together with her 93-year-old father, Gerald Hill – who she used as a “patsy” – to cheat her youngsters out of the cash left to them by their grandmother, who died in 2013.

The £50,000 was left to Gemma and Jessica Thomas of their grandmother Margaret’s will, which acknowledged they may entry it as soon as they turned 25. Katherine and Gerald Hill emptied the account in simply over a 12 months.

Appearing earlier than Swansea Crown Court on Friday, Katherine Hill, of Pontardawe in South Wales, was handed a 30-month jail sentence. She will serve half of that in jail and half on licence. Gerald Hill, of the Gower, was given a 12-month jail sentence suspended for 18 months, with the choose fearing he would trigger “chaos” to the jail system if he had been jailed as a result of his superior age.

The choose, Recorder Greg Bull KC stated: “You are thoroughly dishonest people. Over a period of about a year, between March 2016 and March 2017 you each participated in a wilful fraud to obtain £50,000 from a trust fund which had been set up by Margaret Hill.

“Her granddaughters were to receive £25,000 each, a small bequest was made to a friend and you, Katherine Hill, was to receive the balance of her estate. I’m satisfied that you were so annoyed that your daughters had been left more money than you, that you spitefully and dishonestly decided to obtain their inheritance.

“You did it in part for greed – not only through greed but also in spite, the spite being that your daughters decided to live with their father rather than you. You used this money as a weapon against your own children. That was disgraceful conduct.”

The choose stated that neither had proven any regret and advised Gerald Hill he wouldn’t be punished for “lies that you told so easily from the witness box” which the jury had “dismissed as preposterous”. Gerald Hill beforehand claimed he had taken a few of the cash to present to his granddaughters, by inserting it in envelopes and placing it via their doorways.

Mr Bull stated that Katherine Hill had been the instigator of the rip-off and had inspired her father to participate “knowing he would be a willing patsy”. The choose additionally raised issues about the place all the cash had gone, saying it “appeared to have disappeared without trace” – with none indicators of “high living”.

Barrister Matt Murphy, who spoke on behalf of Katherine Hill, stated references given to the court docket confirmed her in a “polar opposite light”, having been trusted by the financial institution the place she labored and was “considered by her colleagues to be trustworthy”.

Mr Murphy described the offence as a “one-off, unique scenario in her life” and insisted she was not happy with it and he or she had not proven a “lavish lifestyle”.

Speaking for Gerald Hill, Harry Dickens requested for his shopper to not be jailed as a result of his age and careworn he isn’t a danger to the general public and is unlikely to re-offend.

Mr Dickens described Gerald Hill as successfully being beneath “house arrest”, with no household or mates who would speak with him following the offence. Gemma and Jessica Thomas’s grandmother had positioned the cash in a belief, managed by their mom.

Katherine Hill then moved the cash right into a Barclays financial savings account, which allowed prompt entry, in opposition to the recommendation of a solicitor, to which she and her father had entry. The cash was then faraway from the account in giant chunks, together with one withdrawal for £15,000.

The fraud was solely found in 2018 when one of many Thomas sisters requested to entry her share of the funds early to assist her purchase a home together with her boyfriend.

Jessica Thomas broke down in tears as she tried to learn a sufferer affect assertion to the court docket. The prosecutor, James Hartson, learn it on her behalf.

She stated: “When I try to put into words the emotions that arise when asked to discuss the crime against me and my sister by my mother and grandfather, I find it quite difficult.

“This is because I find it hard to understand how my family could have caused such hurt and pain to their own flesh and blood.”

Jessica Thomas stated she has suffered “serious emotional and mental trauma” and he or she had required counselling via her teenage years and now struggles to type significant relationships.

She added: “The thought of my mother and grandfather finding it so easy to create such lies scares me and this has led to difficulties in other areas of my life. I find it difficult to make meaningful and trusting relationships in every area of my life since. This has been seriously damaging to my mental health.”

She stated the cash would have given her a chance few are fortunate to obtain, and it had been taken away from her. Mr Hartson additionally learn a press release on behalf of Gemma, which stated the crime had affected her in “pretty much all aspects of my life”.

She stated: “Emotionally, it’s made me have major trust issues, in my personal life it’s made the once outgoing, confident, happy person I was become someone who has developed serious anxiety. I have been let down and lied to by two people who are my blood and my family.”

She added: “Although I did have mixed feelings about getting them arrested because they are my family, I totally believe that myself and my sister have been exploited out of money.”