Kent

Kent dementia fraud family ordered to repay £25k

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Media captionNick Lewis said the confiscation hearing was about "justice" for his mother

A family who stole a pensioner's life savings and used the money to enjoy a life of luxury have been ordered to repay nearly £25,000.

Barbara Lewis, who died in 2011, was cheated out of £57,000 by her long-time friend Margaret Rigby, from Deal, Kent.

Rigby was given power of attorney over Mrs Lewis's finances, but spent money on holidays and gifts for her daughter, Jane Macdonald, and son-in-law Allan.

They were ordered to pay the money to HM Treasury at Canterbury Crown Court.

The court heard how Mrs Lewis's savings were spent on meals out, credit card bills, Take That tickets, cars, a caravan, haircuts, a coffee machine and even a chicken coop.

Image copyright Nick Lewis
Image caption Barbara Lewis was cheated out of £57,000 from 2007 until she died in 2011
Image copyright PA
Image caption Margaret Rigby, Jane MacDonald and Allan MacDonald were given suspended jail terms

Mrs Lewis's son, Nick, previously called for changes to the power of attorney law.

Speaking outside the court earlier he said: "Today was never about the amount of money, it was about justice and these people being brought to answer for their actions.

"They took advantage of my mum and it's disgraceful what they did."

Rigby, 80, had known Mrs Lewis for 40 years and was granted control over her bank account when she developed dementia.

The court ordered her to pay back £2,714. She was previously given a two-year jail sentence suspended for 18 months.

Her daughter Jane was ordered to pay back £20,000 and son-in-law Allan, £2,000. Both were given an 18-month and 12-month suspended sentence respectively.

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