Couple guilty of £55k theft from ailing aunt

GUILTY: Michael White at Bournemouth Crown Court

GUILTY: Jane White at Bournemouth Crown Court

First published in News by

A COUPLE who stole nearly £55,000 from a trusting elderly relative have been found guilty of theft.

Jane and Michael White plundered widow Olive Cutler’s bank account after Michael White was given power of attorney when she became too ill to manage her own financial affairs.

Mrs Cutler, who is in her 80s and suffers from Alzheimer’s disease, is a resident at a North Dorset care home.

A jury of eight women and four men at Bournemouth Crown Court took just two hours and 50 minutes to find the couple guilty of stealing £54,722 from Mrs Cutler between June 1, 2006 and January 31, 2011.

They will be sentenced on Friday, September 28 when probation reports have been prepared. During the trial the court heard the Whites, of Berkeley Road, Pimperne, near Blandford, allowed Mrs Cutler to live with them following the death of her husband in 2003.

Her home was sold after she moved into a care home and the proceeds paid into her bank account to pay her care fees.

The offences came to light when Michael White applied to Dorset County Council for financial assistance for Mrs Cutler in 2010.

Examination of her bank account revealed large sums of cash had been paid out to White.

“Her bank statements showed that cheques had been written on a fairly regular basis to him for large sums,” said prosecutor Carolyn Branford-Wood.

The court was also told Mrs Cutler’s mental health has deteriorated so much she is unaware her home has been sold.

The couple were remanded on unconditional bail until the next hearing

Comments (6)

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1:27pm Fri 7 Sep 12

annotator1 says...

What a truly rotten thing to do!
I hope you both get what you deserve.
What a truly rotten thing to do! I hope you both get what you deserve. annotator1
  • Score: 1

2:50pm Fri 7 Sep 12

Dorset Boy says...

annotator1 wrote:
What a truly rotten thing to do!
I hope you both get what you deserve.
Knowing the law of this country these scum will get nowhere near what they deserve.
[quote][p][bold]annotator1[/bold] wrote: What a truly rotten thing to do! I hope you both get what you deserve.[/p][/quote]Knowing the law of this country these scum will get nowhere near what they deserve. Dorset Boy
  • Score: 1

6:51am Sat 8 Sep 12

Sunshine452 says...

read between the lines.
This could be, just two people trying to receive some inheritance , that more than likely had been promised to them for years. Seeing all their aunt's money going to pay for her care fees , where others get that care for free, must've been frustrating .
read between the lines. This could be, just two people trying to receive some inheritance , that more than likely had been promised to them for years. Seeing all their aunt's money going to pay for her care fees , where others get that care for free, must've been frustrating . Sunshine452
  • Score: 0

8:25am Sat 8 Sep 12

ksmain says...

Sunshine452 wrote:
read between the lines.
This could be, just two people trying to receive some inheritance , that more than likely had been promised to them for years. Seeing all their aunt's money going to pay for her care fees , where others get that care for free, must've been frustrating .
It shouldn't be used as an excuse, if that was indeed the case. That tacid acceptance that to steal from someone is somehow correct and the lenient sentences criminal activity is given may be perhaps the reason why people treat other people and their possessions with such little respect these days.

We all know the law is an **** to elderly people that work all their lives and save a little money, then have to pay for their healthcare, while others who never work get it for nothing. We need to change the law in that respect, not rob from others.
[quote][p][bold]Sunshine452[/bold] wrote: read between the lines. This could be, just two people trying to receive some inheritance , that more than likely had been promised to them for years. Seeing all their aunt's money going to pay for her care fees , where others get that care for free, must've been frustrating .[/p][/quote]It shouldn't be used as an excuse, if that was indeed the case. That tacid acceptance that to steal from someone is somehow correct and the lenient sentences criminal activity is given may be perhaps the reason why people treat other people and their possessions with such little respect these days. We all know the law is an **** to elderly people that work all their lives and save a little money, then have to pay for their healthcare, while others who never work get it for nothing. We need to change the law in that respect, not rob from others. ksmain
  • Score: 1

4:42pm Sat 8 Sep 12

Sunshine452 says...

ksmain wrote:
Sunshine452 wrote:
read between the lines.
This could be, just two people trying to receive some inheritance , that more than likely had been promised to them for years. Seeing all their aunt's money going to pay for her care fees , where others get that care for free, must've been frustrating .
It shouldn't be used as an excuse, if that was indeed the case. That tacid acceptance that to steal from someone is somehow correct and the lenient sentences criminal activity is given may be perhaps the reason why people treat other people and their possessions with such little respect these days.

We all know the law is an **** to elderly people that work all their lives and save a little money, then have to pay for their healthcare, while others who never work get it for nothing. We need to change the law in that respect, not rob from others.
I repeat: READ BETWEEN THE LINES.
[quote][p][bold]ksmain[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Sunshine452[/bold] wrote: read between the lines. This could be, just two people trying to receive some inheritance , that more than likely had been promised to them for years. Seeing all their aunt's money going to pay for her care fees , where others get that care for free, must've been frustrating .[/p][/quote]It shouldn't be used as an excuse, if that was indeed the case. That tacid acceptance that to steal from someone is somehow correct and the lenient sentences criminal activity is given may be perhaps the reason why people treat other people and their possessions with such little respect these days. We all know the law is an **** to elderly people that work all their lives and save a little money, then have to pay for their healthcare, while others who never work get it for nothing. We need to change the law in that respect, not rob from others.[/p][/quote]I repeat: READ BETWEEN THE LINES. Sunshine452
  • Score: 0

11:26pm Sun 9 Sep 12

Micke12 says...

Sunshine452 wrote:
read between the lines.
This could be, just two people trying to receive some inheritance , that more than likely had been promised to them for years. Seeing all their aunt's money going to pay for her care fees , where others get that care for free, must've been frustrating .
I don't know about reading between the lines, but theft is theft, whether it is because they did not want the money taken out on care fees, or whether they were just greedy. They broke the trust of the power of attorney, a position of extreme trust that should be sacrosanct at all times, as in reality, it gives you absolute power to make decisions over everything the person giving you the power does or has.

The law in this case will probably give them a custodial term of about 2 1/2 years for him and 18 months for her, although I do not see why the judge ordered a pre-sentence report in this matter. In the event of a 'not guilty' plea by the accused, and the jury finding a verdict of 'guilty', there can be no case for argument in mitigation, and it must be obvious to the judge that only a custodial sentence is appropriate, and it is then the decision of that judge to decide the length of the guilty party's incarceration, if that should be his decision.

By asking for a pre-sentence report, I can only assume that the judge in this case is perhaps not looking at a custodial term as the only option in his opinion, and may therefore be considering some form of community based sentence, such as Community Payback or maybe a long term probation order, or even more likely, a long term of home detention curfew.

If the judge is looking at those, then in my view, he needs to reconsider his priorities, as in this case, there is a massive degree of breach of trust, which surely there can be no mitigation for after 'not guilty' pleas by both defendants.

I find myself wondering who the judge is, but I suspect we will find out that it is the usual 'soft' judge of the Dorset circuit. I will watch this case with great interest on 28th September, and hope the OHEC will report on the full story after sentencing has been completed.

I must admit, that based on the seriousness of the offences, which in reality are quite serious, and therefore, carry normally substantial sentences, up to a maximum of 10
years. This will not be the sentences I am sure, but I wait with bated breath to see if these two get the just rewards.
[quote][p][bold]Sunshine452[/bold] wrote: read between the lines. This could be, just two people trying to receive some inheritance , that more than likely had been promised to them for years. Seeing all their aunt's money going to pay for her care fees , where others get that care for free, must've been frustrating .[/p][/quote]I don't know about reading between the lines, but theft is theft, whether it is because they did not want the money taken out on care fees, or whether they were just greedy. They broke the trust of the power of attorney, a position of extreme trust that should be sacrosanct at all times, as in reality, it gives you absolute power to make decisions over everything the person giving you the power does or has. The law in this case will probably give them a custodial term of about 2 1/2 years for him and 18 months for her, although I do not see why the judge ordered a pre-sentence report in this matter. In the event of a 'not guilty' plea by the accused, and the jury finding a verdict of 'guilty', there can be no case for argument in mitigation, and it must be obvious to the judge that only a custodial sentence is appropriate, and it is then the decision of that judge to decide the length of the guilty party's incarceration, if that should be his decision. By asking for a pre-sentence report, I can only assume that the judge in this case is perhaps not looking at a custodial term as the only option in his opinion, and may therefore be considering some form of community based sentence, such as Community Payback or maybe a long term probation order, or even more likely, a long term of home detention curfew. If the judge is looking at those, then in my view, he needs to reconsider his priorities, as in this case, there is a massive degree of breach of trust, which surely there can be no mitigation for after 'not guilty' pleas by both defendants. I find myself wondering who the judge is, but I suspect we will find out that it is the usual 'soft' judge of the Dorset circuit. I will watch this case with great interest on 28th September, and hope the OHEC will report on the full story after sentencing has been completed. I must admit, that based on the seriousness of the offences, which in reality are quite serious, and therefore, carry normally substantial sentences, up to a maximum of 10 years. This will not be the sentences I am sure, but I wait with bated breath to see if these two get the just rewards. Micke12
  • Score: 1

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