Humberside

Carer accused of £290,000 fraud against 102-year-old woman

Julie Sayles arriving at court
Image caption Julie Sayles is on trial at Hull Crown Court

A carer stole almost £290,000 from a "thrifty" 102-year-old woman's bank account, a court has heard.

Julie Sayles, 59, of Bridlington, East Yorkshire, bought two houses with the money she allegedly took from a joint account she shared with Edith Negus.

Hull Crown Court heard Ms Sayles, who ran a charity providing care for the elderly, also wrote a new will in which the majority of Ms Negus's remaining assets were left to her.

She denies a number of fraud charges.

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Robert Stevenson, prosecuting, said Ms Negus began receiving care from Ms Sayles when her physical and mental health began to deteriorate after her 100th birthday.

Mr Stevenson told the court the defendant was described by others as "domineering" and had taken advantage of Ms Negus's vulnerability.

"She set up a joint bank account with Edith in the months before Edith's death and caused Edith to put large amounts of her own money from her savings into that joint bank account."

"This defendant was then simply able to withdraw money from that joint bank account," said Mr Stevenson.

The Crown said between February and July 2014, Ms Sayles made a number of withdrawals of £7,688, £90,000, £40,000 and several withdrawals of £150,000, having set the joint account up in January of that year.

New will signed

Mr Stevenson said Ms Sayles had used the money to buy two properties in Trowbridge, Wiltshire, and Scarborough, North Yorkshire.

The prosecutor continued: "She caused Edith to sign a new will in which she would no longer leave the majority of her assets to her family but to this defendant."

Mr Stevenson said Ms Sayles was arrested after Ms Negus's death in October 2014 and denied any wrongdoing throughout her police interviews.

Ms Sayles told police the centenarian had offered her money for her care and to invest in property and that the wills were created on Ms Negus's instructions.

Ms Sayles of Sewerby Road denies fraud by abuse of position, buying properties with the proceeds of crime, making a fraudulent will and presenting it to a solicitor.

The trial continues.

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