Thief robbed dad’s account

Derek Heath, 58, jailed for stealing from his elderly father

Derek Heath, 58, jailed for stealing from his elderly father

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CALLOUS criminal who emptied his elderly father’s savings and racked up thousands of pounds worth of debt in his name has been jailed.

Derek Heath, 58, stole more than £8,000 from his elderly father’s bank account and took out over £7,500 worth of loans and credit card debts in his name.

The substantial sum was stolen over a matter of months before a bank manager became suspicious and reported the unusual activity to the police.

Preston Crown Court heard how Heath, of Withnell Road, South Shore, had “taken full advantage” of his “vulnerable” father.

His crime was described by police as an “appalling breach of trust”.

A friend of Heath’s dad, who lives in the Accrington area, also contacted the police after large numbers of debt collection letters began arriving at the pensioner’s home.

In total, by “bullying” his father into handing over his cash, Heath swiped £8,160 from his savings account. He also took out a £5,560 loan and spent £1,965 on a credit card after fraudulently using his father’s details to obtain them.

The offences were brought to the attention of police in April 2009 by concerned friends.

But it was not until a year later, in April 2010, that Heath was arrested following a lengthy investigation by detectives in Accrington CID.

Heath admitting 14 counts of theft, forgery and fraud and was sentenced to 16 months in prison by a judge at Preston Crown Court.

After the sentencing, Det Sgt Mark Gillibrand, of Lancashire Police, said the defendant was guilty of taking advantage of his father’s good nature.

He added: “Heath took full advantage of his vulnerable, elderly father, bullying him into handing over large sums of money.

“This was an appalling breach of trust and I am relatively satisfied with the sentence he has been given.”