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Woman 'spent sick mother's money'

A woman spent more than £450,000 of her sick elderly mother's money after being given control of her finances, a judge has heard.

She withdrew more than £200,000 in cash, arranged bank transfers totalling more than £170, 000, wrote cheques totalling more than £40,000 and spent nearly £9,000 on holidays, Judge Denzil Lush was told.

Detail has emerged in a ruling by Judge Lush following a hearing in the Court of Protection - where issues relating to sick and vulnerable people are analysed - in London.

The judge said the woman had contravened her authority.

He said the woman's brother should assume sole financial control.

No-one was identified in the judge's written ruling.

Judge Lush said the woman's mother had dementia and was a widow in her 70s.

He said the woman was a carer in her 40s who lived in Surrey.

Her brother was in his 50s.

Judge Lush said the woman and her brother had been appointed "attorneys" for their mother's property and affairs more than five years ago.

Concerns had been raised after the brother became suspicious about his sister "mismanaging their mother's finances".

Analysis of bank statements had revealed the extent of the woman's spending.

She had spent money on "adaptions" to her home and had been on "frequent holidays", the judge said.

Judge Lush was also told that she had put her mother's house, worth more than £350,000, on the market - although it had not been sold.

The judge said the woman had told him that she had been interviewed by police - but said police did not "intend to bring any charges".

"She apologised for her misconduct and said that she had been suffering from depression (for) several years and had been on medication for it," Judge Lush said.

"Unquestionably, (she) has behaved in a way that has contravened her authority and is not in (her mother's) best interests."

The judge was told that under the terms of a will, the woman was due to inherit 95% of her mother's estate.

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