Sons '˜milked' vulnerable Eastbourne father's bank account and stole £108,000, court hears

A vulnerable elderly man from Eastbourne who had lost his wife was preyed upon by his sons who stole more than £108,000 from him, prosecutors say.

Monday, 19th November 2018, 5:26 pm
Updated Monday, 19th November 2018, 6:26 pm
The trial began this afternoon at Lewes Crown Court

Ivor Taylor and Jonathan Taylor deny committing fraud.

The pair had power of attorney over their father in 2015 and 2016 because of his Alzheimer’s and deteriorating mental state.

Prosecutor Nicholas Hall told a jury at Lewes Crown Court this afternoon that they took advantage of their 85-year-old father and ‘milked’ his bank account. Their father died before their trial began.

Ivor Taylor, 52, of Cranfield Road in Bexhill, and his brother Jonathan Taylor, 49, of The Green in Ninfield, Battle, are charged with fraud by false representation. Both deny the offence.

The prosecutor said: “Peter Taylor is the father of the two defendants.

“He has suffered various difficulties in the year or two running up to these allegations.

“In 2013 he had a stroke. In 2014 he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s . At the end of 2014 his wife died leaving him alone with only his sons to help care for him.”

The court heard that his declining mental state left him unable to look after his own affairs, so in January 2015 his sons were given power of attorney.

Ivor Taylor was signed on to his bank account, and began transferring money out to pay the fees of the Eastbourne care home where his father was living.

The prosecutor told the jury that before Peter Taylor moved into a care home he had lived in his own home in Eastbourne.

He continued: “That had been sold and the proceeds of sale over £100,000 paid to Jonathan Taylor’s account.

“He paid various expenses and then kept roughly £60,000 for himself, roughly £40,000 transferred to his brother Ivor.”

But in July 2016 one of those cheques to their care home bounced and from then on the care home was not receiving any money at all, the court heard.

East Sussex County Council and Sussex Police launched investigations into what was happening, and in September 2016 the powers of attorney of Peter Taylor’s sons were revoked. Control of his bank account was given over to a solicitor.

Mr Hall told the jury: “Virtually all the money had gone.

“The prosecution allege that the two brothers had simply pocketed the money over the time they had power over his affairs.”

He said they were both interviewed by police about the allegations they had ‘milked’ their father’s bank account.

Both brothers told detectives that they were entitled to the money, that it was their inheritance. Mr Hall pointed out to the jury that this was despite their father still being alive.

Ivor Taylor told police that he believed he was doing at the time nothing that was wrong or illegal, the court heard, but has since acknowledged it may not have been the right thing to do.

Jonathan Taylor spend £7,000 on a ‘quite expensive’ car, bought a new roof for his house and paid off a bank loan with the money, the court heard.

According to police, the exact amounts the brothers are accused of stealing from their father are:

Ivor Taylor: £55,680.65

Jonathan Taylor: £52,396.66.

The trial continues.