Dominic Connolly prosecutes Margaret Rigby and Jane and Allan MacDonald, who were last week sentenced after stealing life savings from friend Barbara Lewis, of Herne Bay.
Dominic Connolly recently prosecuted an 80 year old grandmother, her daughter and her son in law after they spent her life savings on lavish gifts and trips abroad.
Margaret Rigby was granted Power of Attorney in relation to her lifelong friend who began to suffer from senile dementia. Over a five year period, she spent £57,000 of her friend's money on lavish gifts for herself and her family.
Items purchased included cars, a caravan, a flight to America, meals out, hotels, dental treatment and expensive kitchen items.
A jury at Canterbury Crown Court heard that as Mrs Lewis’s mental health declined, Rigby bled the funds, lavishing gifts on herself and her family, including tickets to see Take That.
Rigby, of Burnt Barn Cottages, Betteshanger, was found guilty by a jury of fraud totalling £57,000.
Her daughter Jane MacDonald, 56, of the same address, was found guilty of two charges of acquiring criminal property, while son-in-law Allan MacDonald, 60, was found guilty of one count.
Rigby’s granddaughter Rosie MacDonald, of Bingley Court, Canterbury, was acquitted of acquiring criminal property.
On 27 November 2015 Rigby, 80, was told by a judge, Recorder Deborah Charles: “You deluded yourself. You abused the trust of a lifelong friend. She is the true victim here. At least she isn’t here to witness what you did.”
The judge added: “You are intelligent people. You knew your responsibilities but you behaved in a wholly dishonest way.
Rigby, who is in poor health, was given a two-year jail sentence suspended for 18 months and told by the judge that if she had been 10 years younger and fitter, she would have gone straight to prison.
Her daughter, Jane MacDonald, a former NHS manager, received an 18-month sentence suspended for 12 months and Mrs MacDonald’s husband Allan was given a 12-month sentence suspended for 12 months.
Dominic Connolly is an experienced criminal barrister whose practice principally concerns serious and large-scale organised crime. He is ranked in Chambers Directory, as a leading individual in crime at the London Bar.