Wales

Judge blasts Michael Hughes for defrauding mum out of £18k

Mold Crown Court

A Wrexham man convicted of defrauding his sick and elderly mother out of more than £18,000 has been branded "despicable" by a crown court judge.

Michael Stephen Hughes, 58, from Acrefair, was given bail after his trial at Mold Crown Court, but was warned he faces a possible prison term when sentenced later this month.

Hughes had said his late mother had been a shopaholic.

But Judge Rhys Rowlands branded the claim "frankly ridiculous".

Hughes denied that he had used the money for his own use and said cash spent on flights to the Philippines for his wife had been with his mother's blessing.

'Milking her money'

"I do view this as a pretty appalling breach of trust in respect of a very elderly lady," said Judge Rowlands.

"You were milking her money, using it for yourself and your family."

Barbara Hughes was in hospital for up to 30 of the 57-week period the money was taken from the accounts between 2009-11, the court was told.

She was eventually taken into a care home and died aged 82 on December 24, 2013.

Her other two children, Wendy Hughes and Alan Hughes, approached the police with suspicions over their elder brother's behaviour amid fear he was "milking her accounts" for his own benefit, the court was told.

Matthew Dunford, defending, told the jury that all withdrawals had been authorised by the defendant's late mother.