A SON who stole his mother’s life savings was spared jail after she forgave him.
Recovering drug addict Michael Pothecary fleeced his 81-year-old mother’s bank account to pay off debts.
Margaret Pothecary discovered her account was in the red and realised what had happened but did not want to call in police, Sheffield Crown Court heard.
But when she confronted her son he confessed to police.
Mrs Pothecary said in a victim impact statement: “I’m at breaking point over all of this. I’m in ill health and can’t cope with this type of stress and upset.”
David Wain, prosecuting, said the pensioner still lived with her son at Highthorn Road, Kilnhurst, Rotherham, and ‘feels safe with him and wants him to remain’.
Pothecary, aged 45, admitted theft from his mother’s bank account over a three-month period.
He obtained £1,640 and Mrs Pothecary only became aware when she tried to make a transaction and found there was only 77p in her account. She was eventually £140 overdrawn.
Samina Rashid, defending, said Pothecary had suffered a stroke, two heart attacks, lost the use of his left arm and walks with a stick because of his heroin addiction.
He ran up a mobile phone bill when in hospital after a heart attack and took the cash to pay his bill. He is repaying his mum from benefits.
Sentencing him to a 12-month community order with supervision, Judge Graham Robinson said: “Rather than come clean with her and explain the mess you got into what you did instead was to plunder the money she had managed to save, goodness knows how, on what income she has.
“I accept you are paying the money back. I should jolly well think so particularly as your mother still provides a roof over your head. I hope you are thoroughly ashamed.”