A MAN who frittered away more than £56,000 from his dementia-suffering mother’s bank account, has no realisable assets to repay the money, a court heard.

Jason Hollins was said to have “pilfered” from his now late mother’s savings to meet his own debts, also “squandering” some of the stolen money on gambling and scratch cards.

The 48-year-old defendant, of Dorset Crescent, Moorside, Consett, was jailed for 27 months at Durham Crown Court last month, after admitting fraud.

Financial inquiries have since taken place to see what can be confiscated from him under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Hollins, only four weeks into his sentence, chose not to be produced at the court from prison for the crime proceeds settlement hearing.

Sam Faulks, for the Crown, told the court: “Mr Hollins has decided not to grace us with his presence today.”

Vic Laffey, for Hollins, said he has had a conference with his client, who, he said, “knows what is happening.”

Mr Faulks said the agreed amount by which Hollins benefitted from his crime was the £56,331 outlined to the court in the recent case.

But as he has no realisable assets or savings the amount available which can be confiscated under crime proceeds procedure, is a nominal figure of £1.

Judge Adkin, therefore, made the nominal confiscation order, of £1, with one day in prison in default.

During Hollins’ recent hearing the court was told following his mother’s admission into a care home in Burnopfield, in April 2014, incurring charges from the county council, he became her, “account payee”, obtaining official “deputyship” over her financial affairs a few months later.

He allowed “significant arrears” to build up to the point where he was contacted about a £17,000 shortfall, which he claimed to be trying to “sort out”.

Hollins was warned he may face legal action, but by August 2019 he accepted he no longer wished to manage his mother’s finances as he was “struggling” in debt, using her money for his own needs.

The court heard Hollins’ mother died in February last year and a financial investigation revealed that £117,000 was deposited into her account, between January 1, 2014, and December 16, 2019, while £115,000 was withdrawn during that period.

It was estimated Hollins took £56,331 for himself.

When interviewed he made full admissions.