Shock over cash raid on gran’s savings

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A WOMAN who siphoned £35,000 of her grandmother’s life savings from her bank account and spent the money on drugs and designer clothes has been jailed for a year.

Stacey Bann took the money from the account of dementia sufferer Noreen Cunnington after setting up a bogus Halifax account with her grandmother’s name.

When confronted by her parents over the thefts the 23-year-old became aggressive and threatened them with a knife, Sheffield Crown Court heard.

Louise Gallagher, prosecuting, said Mrs Cunnington was in the early stages of dementia after having a fall and is wheelchair-bound.

Bann obtained her bank details while visiting her home last March. On 23 separate occasions Bann transferred cash from her genuine account to the bogus one and then switched the funds to her own account.

The victim had £38,714 in her accounts but after just five months there was only a few thousand left. Bann started wearing expensive clothes and shrugged off questions by saying she could afford it out of her apprentice plasterer wages, the court heard.

When her father noticed £9,000 had disappeared from Mrs Cunnington’s accounts Bann said her grandmother had given it to her as a gift.

By August Bann had quit her job but she was still “flush with money” and her father alerted his ex-wife, the victim’s daughter, who found the money had been stolen.

“Both her parents expressed shock that she did this to her own grandmother. She would have given her anything she needed,” said Miss Gallagher.

Bann, of Heather Walk, Bolton-on-Dearne, who was in tears in the dock, admitted fraud.

Judith Seaborne, defending, said Bann, who lives with her cousin, was qualified in plastering and plumbing but had recently been living on benefits.

She felt frustrated at not being able to drive to look for a job and had been unable to work because of an old hand injury. Her seven-year relationship also ended in March last year and she became increasingly depressed.

Judge Julian Goose, sitting at Sheffield Crown Court, jailed Bann for 12 months of which she will serve half before she is released on licence.