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Jail for Woman Who Stole Life Savings from Grandmother

by Ridley&Hall in Contentious probate, Financial Abuse, Helen Dandridge, Sarah Young posted January 19, 2015.

A 38 year old woman from York has been jailed by Leeds Crown Court for four years for taking £140,000 of her grandmother’s life savings.

Katie Gosley-Shaw used the money, which her grandmother had inherited from her late husband to fund a lavish lifestyle including holidays and expensive cars. In one transaction, Katie spent £10,000 on a single visit to a health spa, meanwhile her actions left her own grandmother unable to pay her own heating bills or afford new clothes.

The incidents happened over a four year period from 2009–2012 and at the time Katie was claiming to be unemployed and receiving state benefits.

During the trial last year, Katie claimed in her defence that her grandmother approved every single financial transaction but she was found guilty of five counts of theft and two counts of fraud.

The victim told the court that she was ‘heartbroken’ and despite her granddaughter’s actions, she ‘couldn’t bear the thought’ of her being sent to prison because she had children of her own.

This case demonstrates that all too often, elderly and vulnerable people can be victims of financial abuse from their nearest and dearest. We are aware of the need for elderly people to be careful of cold callers who may try and pressure them into buying something they don’t need – but it is very often that the danger comes from someone you are very close to.

This is one the few cases which has resulted in criminal prosecution against the perpetrator. All too often, the police do not have the resources to properly investigate financial abuse, or there is insufficient evidence for the police to be confident of securing a conviction; the only evidence may be that of the victim, who may be confused or have forgotten past events.

Sadly in many cases involving a close relative or family friend, the victim may not even realise what is happening, or be too embarrassed to admit it. The victim in this case said of her granddaughter “She was so helpful, she would do anything for me, go to the shops, anything.”

Whilst prison in this case may be seen as a suitable punishment for the crime committed, it does not alter the fact that the victim has been left penniless. We do not know if the victim will ever recover the money that was stolen from her.

Ridley & Hall’s specialist solicitors have experience of dealing with financial abuse cases to seek to recover monies on behalf of victims. We have the expertise to handle these cases with the sensitivity they require.

Financial Abuse solicitor, Helen Dandridge, says, “These cases are complicated and often require a detailed investigation of the circumstances, so it is important that you have necessary evidence such as bank statements or financial documents.”





If you require further advice on financial abuse, please call us on 0843 289 4640.



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