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The court was told that when David Traylen, whom Dean Thompson ‘unofficially cared for’ for more than two decades, died aged 78, he was believed to have had no known beneficiaries.
Posing as David, Thompson, 54, told the bank that he was “very ill and wanted to order the funds from him” and then stole the money.
But after he took a total of £61,356.25 from David’s accounts, over two years, the old man’s sister, who lived in New Zealand, came forward.
Thompson was then taken to a police interview, where he claimed the money had been a gift from David, but then fully admitted to five counts of false representation fraud and one count of theft at Hull Crown Court.
The Hull lorry driver was sentenced to two years in prison.
Prosecutor Ben Hammersley told the court that David had no known relatives or beneficiaries of his estate when he died on October 2, 2017.
Thompson recorded David’s death at Hull Town Hall, but then called First Direct bank, posing as David and asking for the £28,000 in his savings account to be transferred to his current account.
Posing as David, Thompson told the bank that he was “very ill and wanted to sort out the funds from him.” He then wrote himself a check for £25,000.
For the next two years, the court heard, Thompson used the money for his family’s daily expenses. He went on to withdraw a further £6,367 using Mr Traylen’s debit card.
In October 2019, again posing as his dead neighbour, Thompson accessed a further £30,000 of uncollected bonds and transferred them to his own account.
Posing as David, Thompson, 54, in the photo, told the bank he was “very ill and wanted to sort out his funds” and then stole the money.
On November 11, 2019, David’s sister came forward to claim his estate and appointed a UK solicitor to liquidate the estate, uncovering Thompson’s fraud.
She took a total of £61,356.25 from Mr Traylen’s accounts.
Charlotte Baines, in mitigation, said Thompson has had no prior convictions in his 54 years.
She added: ‘He knows what he did was despicable and he fully regrets his actions.
‘His intentions were good, he supported David Traylen when he was alive, David had no one to take care of him when he was alive. The defendant had significant intentions.
“Thompson is someone with a strong work ethic, he worked most of his adult life, he had a secure job at Stagecoach Transport.
“He’s been trying to raise the funds to pay back what he took, he wants to fix it.”
Judge Kelson sentenced Thompson, 54, of De La Pole Avenue, to two years in prison at Hull Crown Court, pictured
Judge Peter Kelson QC told Dean Thompson: ‘I accept that you previously supported the victim prior to his passing.
‘He described himself as his unofficial caretaker, that’s an understatement of the support he gave her.
‘However, after his death, he immediately transferred money to yourself by cheating his bank.
‘The aggravating features of this case are the breach of trust and the sophisticated nature of the crime in that it required significant planning.
This exceeds the threshold for immediate custody.
Judge Kelson sentenced Thompson, 54, of De La Pole Avenue, to two years in prison.