Teesdale man admits stealing £5,000 from 92-year-old family friend

First published in News The Northern Echo: Static HTML image by , Chief Reporter (Durham)

A MAN has admitted stealing more than £5,000 from an elderly family friend who trusted him to help with his banking.

Matthew Lee Chapman took money for himself when he was supposedly making small withdrawals on behalf of the 92-year-old victim.

Twenty-year-old Chapman appeared at Durham Crown Court having been arrested earlier this week on a bench warrant issued after a previous failure to attend a scheduled hearing in the case.

He admitted a single charge of theft, of £5,035, said to have taken place between January 31 and March 17, last year.

His barrister, Carl Swift, asked for a background report to be prepared on Chapman, prior to sentence, due to his lack of “relevant previous convictions”.

“He knows he will almost certainly be going to prison when he returns to this court for sentence.”

Mr Swift asked if Chapman could be allowed bail to allow him to briefly return to his job, as a builder’s mate, to help “put some money together”, to enable him to make a small compensation payment to his elderly victim.

But, Recorder Alistair MacDonald refused, “given his bail record”.

He remanded Chapman, of Stainmore Close, Startforth, near Barnard Castle, in custody, prior to sentence on January 31.

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