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Man sentenced for theft from elderly woman

Following a West Mercia Police investigation, a man has been sentenced for stealing money from an elderly woman.

Robert Black, aged 68 of Walmer Street, Hereford, appeared at Worcester Crown Court on Tuesday 3 April for sentencing.

Over a number of years, Black carried out a number of odd jobs for a vulnerable 93-year-old woman who suffered from dementia, including collecting her state pension from a Post Office. During this time he would give her the withdrawn cash in an envelope.Robert Black
Robert Black

In August 2016, a person who had power of attorney for the victim suspected that Black had been withdrawing substantially more money from the victim's Post Office account than was necessary. This prompted him to inform the police. A study of her statements then showed that these withdrawals had been going on for several years.

Black was arrested for theft on the 27 August 2016 after he was caught on camera giving the victim only £140 of the £300 had withdrawn from her Post Office account that day.

Following a lengthy enquiry whilst Black was on police bail, studies of his and the victim's bank accounts showed that he had withdrawn and stolen around £31,500 from the victim's Post Office account between 2011 and August 2016. Black continued to deny the theft, but later pleaded guilty at a Crown Court appearance.

Last week, he was sentenced to nine months in prison for the offence.

Following the sentencing, PC Philip Harvey from Hereford Police Station said: "Robert Black completely betrayed his victim's trust, and stole over £30,000 from her during a five year period. We are now actively looking at ways to recover the stolen assets.

"This has been a long and complex investigation and I hope this result highlights that we remain committed to bringing to justice those who commit offences against vulnerable people."

Issued: 10.55am, Monday 9 April, HCB, Corporate Communications

Published 09/04/18