Truck driver posed as dead neighbor for two years to steal £60,000 of life savings
A lorry driver pretended to be his dead neighbor for two years to steal £60,000 of his life savings.
Dean Thompson took on the identity of a deceased neighbor whom he had “unofficially cared for” for 20 years. He then went on a spending spree with David Traylen’s money after his death.
A court heard how Thompson, 54, transferred £25,000 to himself. He then used another £30,000 of uncashed bonds for himself two years later.
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A total of £61,356.25 was taken from Mr Traylen’s accounts over a two-year period. He admitted five counts of fraud by false representation and one count of theft in court, Hull Daily Mail reports.
Prosecutor Ben Hammersley said Mr Traylen had no known relatives or beneficiaries of his estate when he died on October 2, 2017. He told Hull Crown Court that the accused was ‘unofficially looking after of him for the last two decades of his life. .
Thompson registered David’s death with Hull City Council, but then called the First Direct bank, posing as Mr Traylen and asking for the £28,000 in his savings account to be transferred to his current account. Posing as Mr Traylen, Thompson told the bank he was ‘very ill and wanted to sort out his funds’. He then wrote himself a check for £25,000.
For the next two years, the court heard, Thompson used the money for her family’s day-to-day expenses. He went on to withdraw a further £6,367 using Mr Traylen’s debit card. In October 2019, again impersonating his deceased neighbour, Thompson accessed a further £30,000 of uncashed bonds and transferred them to his own account.
On November 11, 2019, Mr Traylen’s sister, who lived in New Zealand, came forward to claim his estate. She appointed a solicitor in the UK to liquidate the property, digging up Thompson’s fraud. In a police interview, Thompson claimed the money was a gift from Mr Traylen, but later fully admitted to the offences. Mitigating Charlotte Baines said Thompson had no previous convictions in her 54 years.
She added: “He knows what he did was despicable and deeply regrets his actions. His intentions were good, he supported David Traylen while he was alive, David had no one to look after him while he was alive. The accused had significant intentions Thompson is someone with a strong work ethic, working for most of his adult life, he had a steady job with Stagecoach Transport He tried to raise the funds to pay back what he took, he wants to fix it.
Judge Peter Kelson QC told Dean Thompson: “I accept that you have already supported the victim before his death. You described yourself as his unofficial carer, this is an understatement of the support you provided to him However, after his death, you immediately transferred money to yourself by cheating his bank.
“The aggravating features of this case are the breach of trust and the sophisticated nature of the offense in that it required significant planning. This exceeds the threshold of immediate detention.” Judge Kelson sentenced Thompson, of Avenue De La Pole, to two years in prison.