Shropshire Star

'Merciless' fraud, 68, drained his own mother's bank accounts after she went into nursing home

A son who showed "no mercy" when he drained his frail elderly mother's savings after she went into a nursing home has been jailed.

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Derek Walford. Picture: West Mercia Police

Derek Walford took nearly £17,500 from an account his mother had used to pay for her funeral, and drip-fed from an account she used to receive her state pension. By the time his mother died, she had less than £300 to her name.

Walford protested his innocence to a crown court judge despite previously pleading guilty in November 2022 to two charges of fraud by misrepresentation. He had attempted to change his plea but had that rejected during what were described as "protracted" legal proceedings, before being locked up for two years on Friday.

Shrewsbury Crown Court was told that an experienced probation officer had found the 68-year-old ex-military man to have created the "most convoluted story he had heard in 20 years".

The judge agreed, saying Walford had "shown no mercy" to his own mother.

The court, sitting on Friday to sentence Walford, of Newcomen Way, Woodside, heard that as soon as his mother Julie Walford went into a nursing home in August 2019 he started taking her money out.

He also moved in to her mortgage-free house. The prosecutor said he did this without her permission.

Walford, who was unrepresented, claimed in court that there had been a collusion to change his mother's will to expressly exclude him from it. Judge recorder J Freeman rejected that argument.

Walford was charged with offences against HSBC and the Post Office/Bank of Ireland.

Lisa Hancox, prosecuting, said the victim needed 24-hour nursing care but had no mental illness.