Wales

Adopted son 'betrayed' Wrexham parents with £118k fraud

Owen Waddilove Image copyright Andrew Price
Image caption The judge said Owen Waddilove had committed a "breach of trust on a staggering scale"

A man who "fleeced" his adoptive parents of £118,000 and blew it on drugs and gambling has been spared jail after a plea from his father.

Owen Waddilove, 38, admitted four counts of defrauding his elderly parents, from Wrexham, between April 2017 and May last year.

Waddilove, of Sale in Manchester, was given a two-year suspended sentence after his father appealed to the judge.

Judge Niclas Parry called it a "breach of trust on a staggering scale".

Waddilove, a former RAF ambulance driver, received a two-year jail term, suspended for two years, and was ordered to complete 300 hours of unpaid work at Mold Crown Court.

The court heard his parents, Richard and Suzanne Waddilove, aged 73 and 70, had "devoted their lives" to Waddilove after adopting him at birth.

'Love and betrayal'

After being contacted by the Halifax building society, Richard Waddilove discovered more than 430 transactions had been made from his account by his son, prosecutor Matthew Curtis told the court.

The adopted son had also amassed unpaid parking tickets and county court judgements, and had used online gambling sites.

"This is a tale of love, devotion and betrayal," Judge Parry told the court, adding that Waddilove's mother has early stage Alzheimer's and was cared for by her husband.

"When you fell upon hard times your father helped find you a home and helped you financially.

"Your father asks for the sake of the family that you are not imprisoned."

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Waddilove was sentenced to two years in prison, suspended for two years

Waddilove had stolen the money from pension and life assurance which his parents had "worked for over a lifetime", Judge Parry added.

Anthony Williams, defending, said Waddilove had post-traumatic stress after dealing with injured military personnel and finding the body of an ex-girlfriend.

Judge Parry added: "Your father's love continues. Don't betray him again."

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