Man who stole £4,000 from own grandmother escapes jail

Thomas John Barton leaving courtThomas John Barton leaving court
Thomas John Barton leaving court
A man who stole more than £4,000 from his own grandmother narrowly escaped jail on Wednesday after a judge suspended his six-month sentence for two years.

Newtownards Magistrates Court heard that Una Barton had given her grandson Thomas John Barton her bank card to facilitate him helping her with daily living such as shopping.

A prosecuting lawyer told the court however that Barton abused that trust to withdraw cash, buy various items online and online gaming.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

In total Barton, from Ballyree Drive in Bangor, swindled £4,237 from his grandmother who has since passed away.

The PPS lawyer told the court that when police arrested and interviewed Barton, he made “full admissions” to what he had done, conceding he had been “f****** stupid” to have defrauded his own granny.

He later pleaded guilty to a single count of fraud by false representation between May 19 and August 11, 2015.

Defence counsel Conan Rea said that to date, Barton had repaid just over £2,000 adding that fortunately, he was able to repair the his relationship with his grandmother.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Accepting that it was a “mean offence” which represented a breach of the trust placed in him, Mr Rea told the court that Barton now has a conviction for dishonesty which “will follow him around for the rest of his life and he has blighted his own future employment prospects”.

“He has no one to blame but himself so he will pay a significant price for the foreseeable future,” said the lawyer adding that of the two executors of Mrs Barton’s estate, his father had “no interest” in the rest being repaid while his uncle wanted the remaining money to go to a charity.

Imposing the suspended sentence, Deputy District Judge Peter Prenter told Barton that as a “particularly mean” breach of trust offence, “the case law in such cases says you should go to jail immediately”.

He said however that he was taking Barton’s guilty plea, clear record and remorse in his favour but told the fraudster “go out and gather together whatever money you can and ask your uncle what charity he would prefer”.

Related topics: