Somerset couple face jail for dementia victim fraud

Mr and Mrs Sillence Mr and Mrs Sillence pleaded guilty to two charges of fraud at a previous hearing

A Somerset couple who siphoned off cash from the sale of a dementia sufferer's house have been told to expect a jail sentence.

Roy Coleburn had signed over his financial affairs to Andrew and Karen Sillence, Taunton Crown Court heard.

Mr Sillence, 51, and Mrs Sillence, 46, both of the Castlebrook Inn, Compton Dundon, pleaded guilty to two charges of fraud.

The couple spent £20,000 on themselves and their daughter's wedding.

Judge Graham Hume Jones said it was a particularly mean offence, taking advantage of a friend who was in considerable distress and confused shortly after the death of his wife.

He warned the couple - who were his friends and former neighbours - that they face a custodial sentence of at least two years.

The court heard Mr Coleburn moved into a nursing home in Keinton Mandeville in 2012 after he was diagnosed with dementia.

But when the nursing fees began to mount up, his house had to be sold to cover the costs.

He transferred power of attorney over his estate to Mr and Mrs Sillence, who were publicans in financial difficulty.

It was then discovered that the couple had plundered thousands of pounds from the house sale of £90,000 to help pay for their daughter's wedding and bills for the pub they ran together.

Sentencing was adjourned for the preparation of reports by the Probation Service.

More on This Story

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC Somerset

Weather

Taunton

Min. Night 2 °C

Features & Analysis

  • Baby in boxStrange case

    The remarkable appeal of the Finnish baby boxes


  • WW1 gas mask being demonstratedTrench terror

    Did the soldiers of WW1 have an irrational fear of poison gas?


  • Mitt Romney, speaks at the podium as he concedes the presidency during Mitt Romney's campaign election night event at the Boston Convention 7 November 2012Aura of a loser?

    Mitt Romney looked presidential but could never pull it off


  • A woman holds up a feminist sign.PC virus

    Is liberal speech policing out of control?


Elsewhere on the BBC

  • ReadingBest books

    BBC Culture takes a look at ten books you should read in February

Programmes

  • A car being driven by Cruise Automation technologyClick Watch

    The tech which could allow any car with an automatic gearbox to become self-driving

Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.