James Windsor, of Marys Walk, Park Hill in Sheffield, sponged off his mother in her final months by using the bank card she trusted him with to line his pockets.
The 37-year-old frittered away £10,000 that could have been used for her care before she realised what he had done in early 2018.
In her last months, his mother – Sylvia Frances Turner – had to give witness statements against her son to the police. She died in June 2020 when she was 76.
On the day Windsor faced justice in Sheffield Crown Court, a judge expressed his distaste that the fraudster now also stands to inherit his mother’s £500,000 home, reportedly in the S10 area, within the next 12 months.
“What a mean spirited individual you are,” said His Honour Judge Jeremy Richardson in sentencing.
“This is one of the worst cases I have come across for some little while. A mother effectively being defrauded by her son.”
He added: “Your mother is now dead. She has left you everything. What did you do? You stole just under £10,000 from her, your mother. She was very ill at the time and she died as a result of her ill health.
“She loved you, she trusted you and she gave you her bank card. You were living with her and I have been told you were idling your life away - to use certain language, sponging off your mother.
“The agony caused to your mother in her dying months was significant. You have to live with that. In her dying months she was compelled to make witness statements against her son which was clearly devastating for her. Your meanness towards her is quite astonishing.”
The judge told Windsor that there was 'no doubt' that if the case had gone to trial an immediate nine-month prison sentence would have been imposed on him for his crime.
However, Windsor entered a guilty plea on the day of his trial, the latest point at which he could have done so.
The judge added: “The funds you stole could and would have been made available for your mother's care but instead you went off buying and frittering the money away. By rights you should be going straight to prison now. This deserves prison and I have no doubt that prison would be very unpleasant for somebody like you.”
Instead, Windsor was handed a seven-month suspended prison sentence.
And, to offset the money he stole when he inherits his mother’s fortune, he was also fined £15,000 and ordered to pay £1,350. He must pay this by December 31, 2022.
The judge said: “I am satisfied you will have the means to pay this as you are to inherit half a million pounds.”
He added that the fine was 'far more' than the sum Windsor initially stole, and said: “I don't see why you should profit from your economic depravity.”