Glasgow & West Scotland

Woman jailed for banking dead mother's pension

High Court in Glasgow
Image caption Gladys McKenna carried on the fraud despite being asked to confirm in 2015 if her mother was still alive

A grandmother who collected £33,000 from her dead mother's pension has been jailed for 14 months.

Gladys McKenna, 62, admitted taking payments paid into Jane Love's bank for six years after she died in 2010.

Glasgow Sheriff Court heard how she carried on the fraud despite being asked to confirm in 2015 if her mother was still alive.

McKenna was arrested after an investigation was launched into the payments last year.

She committed the fraud between April 2010 and January 2016.

'Ongoing deception'

Sheriff Alan MacKenzie told McKenna: "I recognise that it was all too easy, given your restricted financial circumstances, to drift in to this ongoing deception over a number of years.

"However, I consider that the gravity of what you have pled guilty to is such that no disposal is appropriate other than custody."

The court heard that Mrs Love died on 2 April 2010 and her death was registered.

Procurator fiscal depute Richard Hill said: "Mrs Love was entitled to a pension during her life, administered initially by AON and thereafter by Hyman Robertson on behalf of Babcock International.

"The pension payments were paid in to the bank account of Mrs Love and the bank held a mandate that allowed the accused to withdraw money from this account.

"The accused continued to withdraw pension payments put in to her mother's bank account."

'Ashamed and contrite'

In April 2015 the administrator changed from AON to Hyman Robertson, who had reason to question if Mrs Love was alive or dead.

But the court heard McKenna, from Glasgow, replied to confirm her mother was still alive and the pension payments continued.

In January last year a letter was sent to the dead pensioner and McKenna that required to be returned by Mrs Love or a power of attorney.

That was not possible and the payments were stopped when the paperwork was not returned.

McKenna, who has 14 grandchildren, voluntarily went to a police station on 24 January where she gave a no-comment interview.

The court heard the money was "absorbed" into the family household.

Defence lawyer Lindsay McPhee said: "She is very remorseful for her actions, she is ashamed and contrite."

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