Man Jailed After Theft From Elderly Woman In Medway

A man has been jailed for more than two years after tricking an elderly woman in Medway out of more than £100,000.

A Medway thief who tricked an elderly woman into handing over £100,000 has been jailed for two years and three months.

Anthony Powell was sentenced at Maidstone Crown Court on 26 May 2017 after pleading guilty to one count of theft.

Powell, of Harrow Road, Hempstead, met his victim, a woman in her 80s, in a pub in 2013 where she was having lunch, and over a period of time gained her trust, gradually taking over tasks such as taking her to get her pension or to appointments.

As time went on, the victim’s family saw less of her as Powell spent more time with her.

It wasn’t until the victim required medical care in December 2014 and January 2015 that the family discovered large amounts of cash had been removed from the victim’s account.

An investigation by Kent Police found that over the course of two years, 73-year-old Powell dishonestly and repeatedly convinced his victim to write cheques for him.

The victim believed the money was only being given as a loan and was unaware of the true amounts involved.

The theft also involved Powell obtaining money which had been set aside in an investment policy in the victim’s name.

On 22 December 2014, the company which managed the policy received a letter asking for it to be surrendered. The investment company questioned the signature on the letter, but then received a second, confirmed signature from the victim. Powell had convinced her to sign the second form but had not told her what its purpose was.

On the same day the letter had been received by the company, Powell called the victim’s doctor and reported that she appeared to be getting confused, and would need an assessment. Handwriting analysis later cast doubt on the signature in the first letter being that of the victim.

The money from the policy, some £63,000, was surrendered, and in January 2015 two amounts totalling the same amount as the value of the policy were deposited into Powell’s account.

Investigating officer Detective Constable Nicola Dawson said: ‘Powell stole over £100,000 from the victim, an elderly and vulnerable lady who had placed her trust in him.

‘By helping her with everyday tasks she thought he was her friend and believed he was looking after her.

‘He grossly abused that trust in the commission of this offence and deprived the victim of a substantial sum of money that should have been for her future care.

‘This was a despicable crime and this is reflected in the sentence he has been given.’

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