Devon

Son-in-law jailed for stealing £250k of care home fees

A man has been jailed for three years after admitting spending nearly £250,000 of his mother-in-law's money.

David Stanton, 68, of Victoria Place, Budleigh Salterton, admitted stealing £245,209.25, including using £530.75 for a BMW payment.

The court heard Stanton used the money from the sale of Fanny Epps' house to support his failing business and fund cars and holidays.

At Exeter Crown Court he was told it was an "appalling breach of trust".

Care home debt

The court heard Stanton held power of attorney over Mrs Epps' finances when she sold her house in July 2002 and was entrusted with the £245,209.25 to pay her nursing home bills.

But he used £127,602 to support his mobility scooter business, cars and holidays with the remainder used for the care home.

In 2008, when the money ran out, Mrs Epps was moved from a double room to a single one and died aged 94 owing the care home £12,000.

James Taghdissian, for the prosecution, said when Stanton realised the money had gone he attempted suicide before later telling his wife, whom he has since separated from, that he was suffering from terminal cancer.

Recorder John Williams said: "You are going to go to prison. I would be failing in my public duty if I were to do anything other than that."

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