Former Ukip councillor jailed for swindling pensioner

Stephanie Todd used cashpoints to withdraw money over a prolonged period

Stephanie Todd used cashpoints to withdraw money over a prolonged period

Friday, July 20, 2018

A former Ukip councillor has been jailed for stealing £46,000 from a vulnerable widower in his 90s after she befriended him in the street.

Ex-florist Stephanie Todd, 57, caused suspicion by trying to change Philip Wall's will to become the main beneficiary when he intended to leave his money to the Cats Protection charity.

The solicitors' firm that held power of attorney over Todd's profoundly deaf and occasionally confused victim became suspicious when she tried to switch legal firms, and they called in police.

By that stage she had regularly siphoned off up to £300 a time from cashpoints, carefully staying below the £1,300 a month the former GPO engineer received in his pension.

Judge Stephen Ashurst, sitting at Teesside Crown Court, jailed her for two and a half years and said she was in disgrace.

The childless victim thought Todd was charitably disposed towards him, and Todd cynically portrayed herself as a "saint" by helping him, the judge said.

Judge Ashurst told her: "You were a forceful woman in your 50s, who exploited that position to exert influence on a very old man.

"He was 98 when he died, knowing that someone who he had trusted had stolen from him."

Todd used his bank card to withdraw more than £46,000 from his bank account over three years. He died in February, having seen Todd convicted of theft in December.

Her sentencing was delayed after she had a stroke shortly before the jury came back with a verdict and she now uses a walking frame.

Detective Constable Nicola Hancock, from North Yorkshire Police's Economic Crime Unit, said: "Todd preyed on an elderly and vulnerable man in his time of need, she gained his trust and proceeded to steal thousands of pounds, as well as convincing him to change the details of his will."