A FORMER teacher jailed for draining her ailing mother’s savings has been ordered to make a £13,995 crime proceeds compensation payment.

Lucie Davis abused the power of attorney granted to her to oversee her now late mother, Valerie North’s affairs, months after she was admitted to a care home, in January 2016.

But the long-serving music teacher, a mother-of-three, used her mother’s money for general family expenditure, to the point where there were insufficient funds to meet her care home fees, payments which had to be taken on by Durham County Council.

The 53-year-old defendant, of Bryans Leap, Burnopfield, near Stanley, who has no previous convictions, admitted theft of £92,944, between March 2016 and May 2018, at a plea hearing at Durham Crown Court, in April last year.

She subsequently received a 25-month prison sentence at the court, in May, when Judge Ray Singh described her crimes as, “despicable and mean”.

He said there may not have been lavish holidays, but he told Davis: “You may have been trying to live above your means and, therefore, were motivated wholly by greed.

“All the good work you have done in your adulthood has, I’m afraid, gone to waste.

“These are awful, awful offences committed against your mother, who lacked the capacity, so you were given the power of trust.

“It was a breach of the highest degree of that trust.”

Read more: Jailed teacher 'lived beyond means'

When the case came back to court under crime proceeds proceedings, last month, the hearing was told the defendant was released from prison on home detention curfew in January.

The court was told both sides in the case were waiting to discover the outcome of the will of the defendant's mother.

Jennifer Coxon, for Davis, told that hearing the defendant was making an application for probate.

The court heard that following her conviction, last year, power of attorney was transferred to Durham County Council.

Judge Singh adjourned the hearing asking for the defendant to attend, “with some meaningful documentation”.

When the case came back before the court this week both the Crown and defence agreed the defendant benefited from her crime by £100,163.

But the available amount in realisable assets was said to be £13,995.

Judge Singh, therefore, ordered that the £13,995 should be paid to the county council as compensation.

He gave her three months to pay or risk a further nine-month prison sentence in default.

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