A woman stole £30,000 from her own grandmother over several years to spend on online gambling.
Tracey Holgate, 40, said she would help her grandmother Doreen Gleave with her finances after the death of her grandfather, Roy, in January 2013.
But soon after setting up a mobile banking app for her, Holgate began taking small amounts without permission.
Prosecutor Mark Kellet told Manchester Crown Court: ‘Doreen describes how about £1,200 a month would be deposited into this account.
“This came from her late husband’s pension and her own pension.
Doreen also says that Tracey occasionally asked Holgate to borrow £30 to £40, promising to pay the money back.
“Doreen was happy to help her granddaughter, but expected, as agreed, that the loans would be paid back. The money was never paid back.’
Over a period of seven years, Holgate, from Alsager, stole a total of £30,000.
Holgate had asked her grandmother to help with an £8,000 bank loan in 2018, but did not repay the amount.
Then her dog required veterinary treatment costing £400 in 2019, and Ms Gleave offered to pay £100 towards the bill, which was also never returned.
She was caught after Mrs Gleave’s son – Holgate’s uncle – found out his mother, from Trafford, couldn’t afford to buy a new pair of shoes in 2019.
Concerned about Mrs. Gleave’s finances, he called Holgate and asked her for some bank statements.
Mr Kellet said: ‘The phone call was disconnected and the defendant later told him the signal was gone.
He then asked for his mother’s credentials, but the suspect told him, “You don’t need those.”
“The next day he asked for a list of his mother’s expenses and she replied, ‘Leave me alone, I’m not dealing with this.'”
Ms. Gleave then asked Holgate for the details, who said, “You’ll see transactions in my name, but I haven’t done anything wrong.”
Finally she said to her uncle, “Don’t tell anyone, I don’t want anyone to know, don’t tell grandma or my mother.”
After the bank statements were discovered, Holgate’s uncle contacted the police and the bank contacted the fraud department.
Police later found that Holgate had spent £15,000 over 18 months on online gambling sites such as Gala Bingo and Paddy Power.
Soothing, Rachel Oakdene said Holgate had no previous convictions and could be trusted.
She told the court: “The defendant has been unable to confess to herself and others about her wrongdoings.
“She doesn’t admit she has a gambling problem, but accepts that payments have been made to Gala Bingo and Paddy Power.”
She added that Holgate feels a “high level of embarrassment and embarrassment.”
In a victim impact statement, Ms Gleave said: ‘I have always loved and respected Tracey. I can’t believe she did this to me.
‘This wakes me up. I’m worried about her, we’ve offered help and asked if she has a problem and if we can help, but she completely denies it, leaving me heartbroken and not talking to anyone anymore.’
Holgate, of Reginald Lyndop Drive in Stoke-on-Trent, admitted to fraud on the day of her trial.
On Wednesday, she was sentenced to 23 months in prison, with 18 months suspended, and was sentenced to 10 days of rehabilitation activities, 120 hours of unpaid work and a two-month curfew.
She was also ordered to repay Ms Gleave £8,000 in damages, although she was reported to have previously repaid part of the sum.
At sentencing, Judge Elizabeth Nicholls said, “This is undoubtedly a tragic case with tragic consequences. No doubt your crime has torn apart a family and inflicted a terrible punishment on your grandmother, who, as you know, is the victim in this case.
‘You did take money regularly. By your admission of guilt, you have acknowledged your criminality and responsibility for the loss of money that rests on your shoulders.
“You found it difficult to acknowledge these transgressions and you were deeply ashamed – I accept that is why you lied to everyone about your behavior.
“This is a public acknowledgment to your family that you are responsible.”
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