Suffolk gambling addict who stole £11,000 from his grandmother is spared jail
PUBLISHED: 08:40 20 April 2017 | UPDATED: 08:40 20 April 2017
A man who cleaned his 82-year-old grandmother’s bank account out of £11,000 to fund his gambling addiction has been given a suspended jail term.
At the sentencing of Oliver Farrow, of Sycamore Avenue, Lowestoft, the court heard the 22-year-old’s grandmother did not want him sent to prison.
Prosecutor Sandra Dyer read out a victim personal statement at Farrow’s South East Suffolk Magistrates; Court sentencing.
In it his grandmother said: “I would be upset if he was sent to prison. My relationship with Oliver is still good.
“All I ask is he’s given help with his addiction. He’s not a bad person.”
Farrow had admitted fraud by false representation at a previous hearing and the matter had been adjourned for sentencing.
The offence occurred between October 3, 2016, and December 15, 2016. The total amount of money involved was £11,101.
The court heard Farrow, who has Asperger’s Syndrome, had previously been allowed by his grandmother to use her bank card details when buying things.
However, in the early part of December last year she discovered her back account was empty.
In her statement Farrow’s grandmother said when she found out it made her feel frightened and she realised the person most likely to have taken the money was her grandson.
She knew Farrow had a gambling problem and that in the past he had told her he needed to stop. However, she had no idea he had been using her money to gamble with.
Farrow’s grandmother said: “We have a close relationship and I care for him greatly.”
Asked by District Judge Celia Dawson if he had anything to say Farrow replied: “I’m sorry to my nan. I do regret everything I have done.”
Judge Dawson told him: “This offence is an incredibly serious matter. You have a generous and loving grandmother.
“She quite clearly was very vulnerable. She placed a great deal of trust in you and you abused the trust in a very shameful way.”
The court was told Farrow had taken steps to address his gambling addiction and an alcohol problem.
He was sentenced to 20 weeks’ imprisonment, suspended for a year.
Farrow was also ordered to pay £11,000 compensation to his grandmother and £85 costs.