A WOMAN has been jailed after fleecing her grandmother out of £140,000 life savings to fund a lavish lifestyle of cars and £10,000 spa trips - while her victim was left unable to pay for heating.
Katie Gosley-Shaw, 38, funded a life of luxury with holidays, a BMW and new clothes - by stripping her grandmother, Ruth Gosley of money left to her by her late husband.
Gosley-Shaw, who used to work for a hair products company, was jailed for four years after she was found guilty of five counts of theft and two of fraud committed between 2009 and 2012 after a trial last year.
Leeds Crown Court heard today her 89-year-old grandmother was left unable to pay her own heating bill and when police turned up to interview her they had to put their coats on in the cold winter of December 2012.
Gosley-Shaw, who carried out four years of deceit and theft all while she was claiming state benefits, had purchased a car, foreign holidays, hotel stays, new dresses and run several credit cards.
The court heard that Gosley-Shaw also stole two gold necklaces from her grandmother - one that had been given to her by her late husband as a Christmas present that she wore every day for 15 years.
Prosecutor Liam O’Brien told the court that Mrs Gosley was left devastated by the actions of her granddaughter and could not even afford to buy new clothes or pay for her heating.
He said: “Mrs Gosley said that she had ‘broken her heart’. She said she couldn’t bear the thought of the defendant being sent to prison because of the children.”
Mr O’Brien told the court that Mrs Gosley was left the money by her late husband who had reassured her that she would be cared for after he left.
He said: “He told me ‘don’t cry Tosh, you will be alright’ and I was alright because he left me quite a lot of money, but it’s vanished. The lot.’
During the trial the court heard the mother-of-two, from Tockwith, York, spent up to £200 a month on petrol and planned to buy a £540,000 house with her partner without needing a mortgage.
Gosley-Shaw spent nearly £10,000 on a single transaction at Feversham Arms health spa in Helmsley, North Yorkshire, the court heard.
During her trial, the granddaughter claimed in the witness box that her grandmother had approved each and every transaction, including giving her about £65,000 in a single “gift” by selling shares.
“She is a very, very kind and generous woman,” said the grandaughter.
According to Gosley-Shaw, Mrs Gosley also lent her money because she had financial problems following the break-up of her marriage and lived beyond her means.
She alleged Mrs Gosley - who also lives in York - had forgotten their many conversations about the money and had personally telephoned her bank on many occasions to transfer money.
But the grandmother told the jury she never used telephone banking and denied approving any of the transactions.
The grandaughter claimed the house purchase would be partially financed through money her partner was to get through a separate house sale.
The Feversham Arms transaction was for a works function for which she became liable through a mistake of hers, she claimed.
Sentencing Gosley-Shaw, Judge Rodney Jameson QC said: “You stole from your grandmother who by the end of matters was in her late eightes.
“She thought that you were the epitome of modern, glamorous living. She was speaking highly of you. In many respects finding it difficult to reconcile with the person she had known until then to the person you had been over the passed four years.”
The court heard that Gosley-Shaw had been through a breakdown of her marriage and had a difficult birth with her child who was born prematurely.
Judge Jameson said: “You did not need to do what you did. This was not in my judgement a case where necessary or significant pressure played any part in this offence.”
He went on to say that Gosley-Shaw had stripped her grandmother of her money while spending cash on a BMW and contemplating buying a house worth over £500,000.
He added: “In contrast, the theft left your grandmother virtually penniless, living on a state pension.
“It is about as mean as an offence as is possible to imagine.”
Speaking previously, Mrs Gosley said: “Katie was here all the time. She would nip in with the kids and we would have a natter, she was here almost daily.
“She was so helpful, she would do anything for me, go to the shops, anything.
“I adored Katie. She was always full of life and liked a good chat. We were good pals.
“If I was down in the dumps she was the one who brought me up, she was very good. What happened was a terrible shock.
“It’s unbelievable how it happened. If she’d have wanted anything all she had to do was ask and she could have had it.”