Alan Hammant betrayed his foster mother Winifred by stealing £84,000 when she was living in a care home in Burton. In a heartbreaking story, Hammant abused her trust by taking advantage of the fact he was granted power of attorney over her. This meant he could handle her financial affairs once she went to Summerfield Care Home.
Three years after making the move to the care home in Branston Road, it was discovered that Hammant had not only withheld the money received from his mother’s pension and the sale of her property, he had spent it all so there was no chance of it being recovered.
Financing a Lavish Lifestyle
His criminal act was only discovered once it was found he had run out of money to pay for his 84 year old mother’s care home bills. Hammant ended up applying to social services for money which shed light on his activities. The 63 year old from Liverpool was sentenced to two years in prison after pleading guilty to two charges of theft.
According to Judge Mark Eames, elderly people who have to live in a care home and bestow power of attorney to a relative are in a vulnerable position. It is essential for the family member given this power to act in an honest manner and ensure all monies are spent in a responsible and legal fashion. The judge told Hammant that he was funding a lifestyle far beyond his means and said that the defendant had stripped his mother’s estate bare.
Winifred gave her adopted son power of attorney in 2010 but the extent of his theft did not become clear until he applied for funding from social services in 2013. It was found that over £16,600 of her pension was unaccounted for and there was a £67,000 shortfall in her accounts.
Hammant was defended by Neil Gerrity and he claims his client suffered from ill health and had to quit work. As a result, he fell into financial difficulties and ended up straying from his original plan which was to take care of the money in a responsible manner. Unfortunately, he spent well beyond his means and was genuinely shocked when the police told him how much money he had spent.