Son snatched £70K from his dementia suffering mother

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A dementia sufferer was left destitute after her life savings were stolen by her son, a court heard.

Retired nurse Hazel Riley did not have a penny for food and clothing after Steven Darvill raided her nest egg.

Her son also dipped into her pension pot – syphoning nearly £70,000 from her accounts to pay £50,000 debts and bringing the bailiffs to his doting mother’s door.

Darvill, of Ashfield Road, Birstall, was jailed for three years and seven months over the five-year scam.

Starving Mrs Riley, 79, who suffers with Alzheimer’s, tried to buy a meal at a council day centre, Bradford Crown Court heard.

But when she opened her purse there was nothing in it but a few foreign coins, said prosecutor Peter Hampton.

He said that Darvill, 56, only visited his mum every three months and did not turn up when 999 workers were called to an accident at her home in Allerton, Bradford.

Judge Jonathan Rose said: “The thief who steals from his mother is disgraceful. It is a wicked breach of trust.”

Mrs Riley was “labouring under the appalling effects of Alzheimer’s” making the theft “completely despicable”.

Darvill admitted stealing £69,163 between January 2009, and last July.

Neighbours alerted social services after bailiffs came to the house in March last year to collect unpaid council tax.

Andrew Walker, mitigating, said: “He is disgusted with himself and his behaviour towards his mother.”

But the judge told him: “Your mother, working hard all her life, after 70 odd years, was looking for foreign coins in her purse to pay for a meal at a day centre.”

The judge urged Darvill to reflect on that while in prison.