A GAMBLING addict fleeced his dementia-suffering mother out of more than £23,000 forcing her to dress in clothes from the lost property store at her care home, Bradford Crown Court heard.

Christopher Jones, of Station Road, Horsforth, the business manager at a police college, did not visit Wilamina Jones and left her penniless, without money for basic necessities, including toiletries.

Jones, 32, pleaded guilty to defrauding Mrs Jones out of sums of £7,000 and £16,178 over four years, between 2012 and 2016.

Prosecutor Mark Brookes said Mrs Jones was in a care home in Baildon suffering from severe dementia.

Jones was granted Power of Attorney but it was revoked by the High Court when a solicitor rumbled the fraud, spotting that Mrs Jones was not receiving any visitors and lacked funds for basic items.

Jones had transferred £7,000 from her bank account into his and arranged for her disability benefit to be paid directly into his account, Mr Brookes said.

He had a gambling addiction and had spent £120,000 on the habit.

Jones, of previous good character, was suspended from his job and would lose it if he went directly to prison, his barrister, Angus MacDonald, said.

He was very remorseful and co-operated fully with the police investigation.

Jones, made full admissions and entered his guilty plea at the magistrates’ court.

Mr MacDonald said it was a sad case, with Mrs Jones losing her mental capacity at an alarming rate. The burden of administering her finances fell on her son who was losing money gambling and then drawing on her funds.

Mr MacDonald urged the judge not to send Jones immediately to prison so that he could keep his job and pay his mother back.

Recorder Chris Smith sentenced him to 14 months’ imprisonment, suspended for 18 months, with 120 hours of unpaid work. He must undertake a rehabilitation activity requirement with the probation service and comply with a two-month curfew order.

Recorder Smith said Jones had committed grave breaches of trust, helping himself to his mother’s money.

“You did not visit her and she was left effectively penniless with no money for clothing and that had to be provided from lost property and the like,” he said.

He made a confiscation order, ruling that Jones’s benefit from his criminality was £23,182 and the available amount he had to pay back was a nominal £10.