A man who fraudulently used care payments meant for his dead mum has been jailed for four months.

Adam Bisland, of Hillcrest in Stevenage, was sentenced last week after pleading guilty to 10 counts of fraud back in October.

In August 2019, finance officers at Hertfordshire County Council identified that a card used to pay for social care for an elderly woman had been used after she had died to buy items including clothes and a mobile phone.

An investigation carried out by The Shared Anti-Fraud Service on behalf of the council found fraudulent transactions made with the card totalled £1,409 between April and May 2019. The investigation found the woman’s son, 36-year-old Bisland, had made the purchases.

Bisland admitted he had found his mother’s pre-loaded care payment card - provided by the council using Adult Care Services funding - at her home and had made the fraudulent transactions, saying he would repay all the money he had stolen.

During sentencing, St Albans Magistrates Court heard how, 10 days after his mother’s death, Bisland had used her details to create a false account with clothing store Next and used the care payment card to buy clothes, in addition to online purchases at Samsung for an £800 mobile phone and £135 spent at Playstation Network.

Bisland’s solicitor said the impact of the loss of his mum, and having been declared bankrupt when he found the card, led to him being unable to resist the temptation to use it.

As well as being sentenced to four months in prison, Bisland has also been ordered to pay compensation amounting to £1,409 to the council.

Ralph Sangster, the council's executive member for resources, said: "Although we sympathise with Mr Bisland, whose mum sadly passed away prior to his spending spree, this does not excuse his actions, which have ultimately cost taxpayers.

"We hope this case will serve as a reminder that fraud is a crime we take very seriously, irrespective of an individual’s situation. I am pleased the county council will be compensated and would like to thank The Shared Anti-Fraud Service, who work tirelessly year-round to prevent the misuse of public money."

To report fraud against the council, visit hertfordshire.gov.uk/reportfraud, call 0300 123 4033 or email fraud.team@hertfordshire.gov.uk