Mother, 47, who stole £15,000 in savings from HER vulnerable autistic son is branded ‘despicable’ by judge

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A mother who stole £15,000 in savings from her vulnerable autistic son and splashed the cash on herself was branded ‘despicable’ by a judge, but has avoided jail.

The Fraudulent Act

Cheryl Lynes, 47, pilfered money set aside for her son’s therapeutic activities and holiday and instead spent it on ‘taxis and shopping’, the court heard.

The funds had been saved up by a foster carer who had looked after Lynes’ son before he went into assisted living accommodation.

He has severe communication difficulties, suffers with autism, and lacks the capacity to manage his own money, prosecutor Rose Burns told the court.

She Admitted The Crime

Lynes, from Portland, Dorset, admitted a charge of fraud by abuse of position when she appeared at Bournemouth Crown Court on Friday. 

The judge, branding her ‘despicable’, sentenced Lynes to 20 months in prison, suspended for two years.

How She Carried Out The Fraud

Lynes took charge of her son’s finances when he first moved into assisted living in Bournemouth at the age of 18.

She withdrew between £14,000 and £15,000 from her son’s account from 2017 to 2020 before a social worker became suspicious of her spending and contacted the police. 

Defense Arguments

Christopher Pix, defending, told the court this was ‘highly unsophisticated fraud’, noting his client had ‘limited intelligence’.

He added: ‘She’s of good character and she’s not, for example, a professional fraudster.

‘This is a lady who is incredibly remorseful and accepts responsibility.’

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Mr Pix also noted Lynes experienced an ‘incredibly sad childhood’ in foster care, and ‘has not had an easy life’ since.

He said she was heavily in debt and could not repay the ill-gotten funds.

Court Ruling

Addressing the defendant, Judge Robert Pawson said: ‘Your son is extremely vulnerable, and you took advantage of that over the course of about two or three years.

‘You, in effect, stole £15,000 from him. You took £15,000, or thereabouts, of his money and spent it on who knows, shopping?

‘I noticed one of the things you spent money on was taxis – a total waste of money.

‘I’m afraid there is only one word for what you did, and it’s contemptible. Most members of the public would go further to say its despicable.

‘I have no doubt that you targeted your son because of his vulnerability. It’s almost unbelievable that any parent in your circumstances would do that.’

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Ola Alabi
Ola Moses is a certified writer, He writes technically and creatively. He is the CEO of WORDSWORTH, a house where writing is made easier for all. He is a content creator at EsB TV, since 2019. He is a young man that showcases professionalism in all that he does, he was announced as Child and Green Foundation Person of the Year 2018, one of his many lists of honours.

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