Paul Keen of Burden Close has received a jail sentence of two years and four months for the crime of stealing money from his elderly and dementia ridden father to pay for his gambling habit. Keen, entrusted with power of attorney over his father, cleared his bank accounts instead. He helped himself to £80,161 from his father’s money within the short space of 17 months. The 54-year-old man went so far as to cash in the older man’s ISAs. He also took away a big chunk of his pension as well.
Keen’s Gambling Addiction Leaves His Father, Sons, and Brother Penniless
Keen’s actions have had negative repercussions on his entire family. Each of his sons could not be paid the £5,000 willed to them by their grandfather whereas his brother was deprived of the £33,000 bequeathed to him by his father. While one of his sons had stopped talking to him once his criminal activity was exposed, Keen’s marriage of 34 years has also collapsed under the weight of his crime.
The elder Keen, formerly a wealthy man, was left absolutely penniless at the time of his death because of the actions of his gambling addict son. In fact, his account was found to be overdrawn. Thankfully, the father’s dementia protected him from knowing how his son was cheating him. Furthermore, he did not have to face any physical inconvenience since his stay at the care home had been entirely paid for. He eventually passed away with no idea of his son’s criminal actions.
Keen Admits the Fraud
Colin Meeke, prosecuting, said that this was simply a case of a person taking advantage of another person’s mental deterioration in order to usurp their finances. There was nothing left of the money since Keen had gambled it all away by the time that the authorities got to know about it. He admitted to committing fraud starting in March 2015 and continuing all the way until August 2016.
Incidentally, the issue was brought to the police’s attention by Keen himself. But very little could be done about it by that time. Furthermore, there wasn’t any more money left with his father for him to steal. At the time of sentencing, the judge told him that his actions were quite dreadful. He continued to say that he hadn’t just defrauded his father but also deprived his own sons of money they could have inherited from their grandfather.
Keen’s brother had been estranged from their father for a while. Therefore, he wasn’t in a position to do anything about the issue. The defendant had a gambling problem was well known in the family. But it had been assumed that he had overcome his addiction. As a matter of fact, he had completed a stint in rehab in 2010.
Keen Ashamed of His Deed
His lawyer, Caghli Taylor, said that Keen was filled with shame because of what he had done. She also pointed out that a big chunk of the money he had stolen was actually due to him as per the provisions of his father’s will. He had also repaid some of the stolen money from time to time. He was able to do it whenever he won money gambling. But he eventually lost it all when his gambling losses mounted.
Keen has learned his lesson and intends to overcome his gambling addiction entirely. In fact, he will be taking support from Gamblers Anonymous to make this happen. He will also be returning some of the stolen money to his father’s estate by dipping into his £65,000 pension. He will be able to do this next January when he turns 55. However, this is unlikely to redeem his image in the eyes of his family and the people around him.