Woman spared jail after taking her sick father’s money

11:45 01 June 2010

...

...

Archant

Judge slams woman who “behaved shamefully” pocketing her sick father’s money

A WOMAN who raided her 79-year-old father’s accounts after he had a stroke was told by a judge that she had “behaved shamefully”.

But Alison Harrowell was spared an immediate jail sentence because her father had told police that although he felt “disgusted” with what she had done he did not want her to go to prison.

Harrowell, 51, from Cooks Way, Hitchin pleaded guilty at Luton Crown Court to three charges of deception and one of converting criminal property.

On Friday she was given a prison sentence of one year suspended for a year with supervision and 200 hours unpaid work.

Daniel Siong, prosecuting, said that in 2005 David Harrowell had a stroke and was admitted to the Meppershall Nursing Home, and was paying for his own care from savings and pensions.

But in 2006 a crisis meeting was held between the home and social services because he was in arrears with fees.

His daughter handed over his debit card, which ultimately led to the discovery that she had transferred money from his savings into a bank account that she could make ATM withdrawals from.

She was arrested in July 2009 and admitted she had used some of the money for herself.

Judge Richard Foster said he was sentencing her on the basis that she had taken a little over £40,000.

He told her: “Your father was vulnerable and relied on his family to care for his finances. You breached that trust in the most gross way. It was shameful behaviour.

“But I am persuaded I can sentence you to a punishment that does not involve sending you to prison.”

Nicholas Beechey, defending, said: “She has tried to fill a void in her life with material things. She has been receiving counselling for the issues that underline her behaviour.

“She has a sad personal history and an almost child-like aspect to her character.

“But she has learnt her lesson and has written a letter that she hopes can be sent to her father. She has also put aside money to compensate him.”

0 comments

Yesterday, 17:56
Civic dignitaries including the Lord Lieutenant of Herts the Countess of Verulam gather for the Holocaust Memorial Day service at Stevenage Civic Centre

Stevenage was at the centre of Hertfordshire’s remembrance of the Holocaust on Tuesday evening as civic dignitaries, community representatives and members of the public flocked to be part of proceedings.

Yesterday, 16:09
Councillor Richard Roberts, cabinet member for childrens' services

A £4.86 million grant – the biggest in the country – has been awarded to Herts County Council to revolutionise the way the authority deals with vulnerable families.

Yesterday, 12:09
Shaun Williamson of EastEnders fame gets ready to tuck into a curry as chef Oli Khan and fellow staff watch on.

EastEnders’ star Shaun Williamson has described a curry cooked by a Stevenage chef as the best he’s ever eaten – three weeks after criticising the town for its ‘bland’ food.

Yesterday, 08:29
Tobie O'Dell and Ella Rowley

Most people expect to go to the pictures to see happy endings, but Ella Rowley never suspected she might find her own at Stevenage’s Cineworld multiplex.

”North

Most read stories

Most commented stories

Digital Edition

Image
Read the The Comet e-edition today E-edition