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Penryn woman ordered to repay £95,000 after defrauding aunt with dementia
3:05pm Thursday 27th February 2014 in News
A Penryn woman has been sentenced to two years in prison, suspended for two years, after using a power of attorney to spend £95,000 of her aunt’s money.
Catherine Gail Aitkenhead, 48, from Penvale Crescent, was also ordered to repay £95,000 which she spent following the sale of a house belonging to her aunt, Mrs Jean Dryden.
Mrs Aitkenhead was given power of attorney over her aunt, who suffers from vascular dementia, in 2006.
She then took Mrs Dryden into her home to care for her following the sale of her house for £170,000.
In an earlier hearing the court had heard that Mrs Aitkenhead had defrauded Mrs Dryden of £156,843 between 2007 and 2011, although a final approximate figure was agreed of £95,000.
Speaking at Truro Crown Court on February 27, prosecutor Elaine Hobson told judge Christopher Harvey Clark QC that Mrs Aitkenhead had spent the money on "shopping, items for herself, and family expenses."
Defending Mrs Aitkenhead, Robert Linford said Mrs Aitkenhead had mishandled the money, but a lot of it "was spent for the benefit of the aunt whose money it was."
Mrs Aitkenhead, a former NHS manager, has been given two months to pay Cornwall Council £53,000 towards the cost of care for her aunt, to repay £42,000 to Mrs Dryden, to pay costs of £500 and a £100 victim surcharge.