Batley drug addict fleeced widow out of more than £900

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A man, who stole from a pensioner he had known since childhood including taking over £900 from her bank accounts, has been jailed for three years nine months.

Scott Bolland had done errands for the 84-year-old woman in the past and so she trusted him when he called at her home in Batley asking to borrow £10 claiming he had run out of petrol and his car was causing an obstruction.

Sobia Ahmed prosecuting told Leeds Crown Court on Monday Bolland spoke to his victim about her late husband over a cup of tea and said that his mother would be back later with his bank card and he would repay her.

He did not return that night but did call round the next day and when she asked for the money said his mother had not yet returned but would do soon.

The pensioner subsequently found she only had £46 in her purse from her pension and that £100 was missing but thought she might have dropped it. She went back to the post office and a check was made which showed her putting the cash into her purse.

She also realised one of her bank cards was missing and when Bolland next called round she told him to return the missing money along with the £10 since he had been the only person in the house apart from her but he denied taking it.

The next time he visited he did return the £10 and she subsequently told him to visit only once a week. He offered to help her look for her missing bank card but she declined.

On another visit he arrived with a bunch of flowers as a thank you for lending him the money. On that occasion she went to answer the phone in the living room leaving him alone in the kitchen and eventually he indicated to her he was leaving.

Miss Ahmed said the alarm was raised after the pensioner received a letter from the bank indicating she did not have enough in that account to pay some direct debits.

She discovered a second bank card was missing and when checks were made £958.85 was found to have been withdrawn from her accounts. Also missing was a gold chain with a sovereign on it and some rings taken from her handkerchief drawer.

Inquiries revealed he had sold items at a pawnbrokers in Batley. Anastasis Tassou representing Bolland said he had spent the money on drugs.

He had known the pensioner since he was about seven and was ashamed of his actions. He had started taking heroin when he ended up in a shared house after his relationship broke up and had struggled since with his addiction.

He had done well under a drug rehabilitation order getting work as an electrician but when the work dried up and he was made redundant “he fell off the wagon” and the offences occurred in the “grip of heroin addiction.”

Bolland, 32 of Lady Ann Road, Soothill, Batley, admitted burglary and theft.

Jailing him Judge Peter Collier QC said: “They are dreadful offences. It is difficult to imagine what the impact must have been on her when someone she knew and trusted abused her trust in that way.”