A SHEFFIELD man who repaid the great-gran who brought him up by stealing her £56,000 life savings has been jailed for 18 months.
Richard Lowery, aged 24, was abandoned by his parents aged four and given a home by his great-gran Brenda Lowery, now 91.
He repaid her kindness by systematically pilfering from her bank account over seven years – and even used some of the money to pay off court fines, Sheffield Crown Court heard.
Mrs Lowery wrote to the court begging for leniency and asking for her great grandson not to be jailed.
However,Judge Michael Murphy QC told Lowery: “I can understand her views, because, to her, you must be like a son.
“She stepped up to the mark to care for you when you needed it and has been caring for you, but there are some situations which transcend the wishes of victims.
“The courts have a duty to the public to mark the repugnance society feels at such conduct.
“This was a breach of a high degree of trust.
“It was a despicable course of conduct and it was exploitation not borne of desperation, but out of sheer greed.”
Louise Gallagher, prosecuting, said Lowery was responsible for his great-grandmother’s financial affairs.
He stole the cash from an account she had with HSBC for 40 years.
She lent him her bank card and he was the only one who knew her personal identification number.
He used cash machines to withdraw money from the account or wrote out cheques payable to himself.
Lowery, a pub barman, of Old Park Avenue, Beauchief, Sheffield, admitted theft of £56,427 from December 2005 to May 2012.
Vanessa Saxton, mitigating, said: “His attitude has been one of putting his head in the sand.”
Lowery still lives with his great-grandmother, but no longer has access to her bank account.