Former headteacher defrauded woman out of £200,000

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A retired primary school head teacher defrauded an elderly woman out of more than £200,000 after being given power of attorney over her affairs, a court heard.

Andrew Norman Allen, of Friary Court, Birstall, initially intended to pay back the money he siphoned from Kathleen Steele’s accounts, Leeds Crown Court heard today (Tuesday).

The fraud only came to light after Mrs Steele died and another executor of her will met with Allen and was astonished to find the money missing.

A total of £213,000 was taken from Mrs Steele in around 250 bank transactions between July 2005 and August 2010.

Mr Allen, 60, knew Mrs Steele and her husband from their local Methodist church.

In a letter to the judge, Allen said: “I have betrayed the trust of a woman who had only shown me kindness and love and I have earned my punishment.”

Sentencing Allen to three and a half years’ imprisonment, judge Christopher Batty said: “What you did was utterly unforgivable.”

For the full story, see this week’s Batley News.