A fraudster from Luton who cheated his dying aunt out of her savings has been jailed for four years.
Daniel Money, 24, became close to step aunt Gillian Kirk after she was diagnosed with cancer and bedridden.
74-year-old Mrs Kirk paid Money £100 a week to visit her, take her for rides in the car and go shopping, describing him as the “son she never had”.
But Luton Crown Court heard that from April 2013 to March 2014, Money helped himself to tens of thousands of pounds of his aunt’s savings.
Retired air hostess Mrs Kirk, of Chaul End Lane, died just three months after the fraud was uncovered in March 2014.
Her family stated: “We were absolutely devastated and Gillian just went downhill after that.
“She went from being a jolly lady to a very unhappy woman. He did that to her.”
Prosecutor Adam Pearson said: “Gillian Kirk never gave her permission for the defendant to buy things or make transactions. The only reason he had access to her card was to check her [bank] balance.
“The bank had ‘stopped’ sending her statements. When the defendant went to the bank the machine ‘stopped’ giving receipts, therefore she only knew what she was told by him.”
In January 2014, Money took out £17,750 in finance on his aunt’s account to pay for a BMW. Then in early March 2014, he applied for a second loan using his aunt’s details for another BMW.
Mr Pearson said: “In relation to the finance, she knew nothing about them. They were taken without her knowledge.”
Financial irregularities were uncovered by Barclays Bank in March 2014 and police became involved.
Mr Pearson added: “All those who loved Mrs Kirk noticed a very real change in her. She was devastated, she never recovered her spirits ... the realisation that she had been betrayed by someone she cared very deeply about.
“His account has been a series of lies from start to finish. Treating her bank account like his own, spending money without any reference to her, and without any thought until there was nothing left.”
Money was unanimously found guilty after a trial by jury and jailed on Friday.
Mrs Kirk’s family added: “She was a very intelligent woman and she felt betrayed and humiliated, to think it was her carer – the son she never had – who had treated her in such a way.
“He is just scum of the earth who had no remorse. He wanted money but didn’t want to have to work for it.”