Daughter stole £20,000 from parents

A YOUNG mother "systematically" stole from her sick mother, vulnerable children and her work colleagues to fund a lavish lifestyle, buying clothes, holidays and enjoying spending sprees on television shopping channels and catalogues.

A YOUNG mother "systematically" stole from her sick mother, vulnerable children and her work colleagues to fund a lavish lifestyle, buying clothes, holidays and enjoying spending sprees on television shopping channels and catalogues.

Katie Neeve even used some of the £20,000 she exploited from her parents to fund her 30th birthday party, Norwich Crown Court heard yesterday.

The court heard that Neeve's catalogue of thefts included taking more than £5,000 from two children's homes while working for Norfolk County Council as a unit adminis-trator.

She also swindled work colleagues in her previous job at South Norfolk Council by taking more than £1,300 from a lottery syndicate.


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Neeve, of Broad Street, Harleston, admitted eight counts of theft at an earlier hearing.

Sentencing her to 18 months in jail yesterday, Judge Peter Jacobs said she had exploited vulnerable people and those who trusted her, including her own family and work colleagues.

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He described the theft of £20,000 from her parents as a "gross breach of trust" and added: "I have no doubt whatsoever that while some of the money may have gone on genuine family purposes much of this money did not. It was spent buying clothes, on Ebay, shopping channels, catalogues and the rest.

"The message has to go out that for this sort of exploitation of vulnerable people there has to be an immediate custodial sentence."

The court heard how Neeve, now 31, took control of her parents' finances after her mother became unwell with a potentially fatal viral infection of the brain in November 2003.

Douglas Mackay, prosecuting, told the court that her farm labourer father felt that he couldn't cope with running the family's finances and Neeve was chosen over her two sisters to take over the management of her parents' funds because she was seen as the "leading light" of the family.

The court heard that Neeve's mother continues to be cared for in a specialist unit at a nursing home and has not been told about her daughter's crimes.

Mr Mackay said that Neeve's actions had devastated her family and that her father had disowned her.

The court heard how Neeve also stole more than £1,000 from her ex-partner's grandfather and mother, Jean Buck.

She was rumbled after the family became suspicious and installed a camera which captured her taking money, which had been marked by Mrs Buck. Neeve later used some of this money to pay Mrs Buck for babysitting.

Richard Wood, mitigating, asked for Neeve to be given credit for pleading guilty in the crown court at the first opportunity and for her previous good character.

He said that Neeve had started to repay her father's money and added: "In a very real sense she has been punished in all sorts of ways.

"She has lost her partner, the father of her child, she has become alienated from her parents and her family and lost her job. She says she is very sorry for what she has done and has told me she is very embarrassed about it."

Mr Wood said that Neeve's mother's illness had a big impact on the family and that Neeve had suffered from post-natal depression following the birth of her son.

"Maybe some of the answers lie in these factors," he said.

After sentencing Neeve, Judge Jacobs commended the work of Det Con Helen Christopher for her work on the case.

Members of Neeve's family who were in court declined to comment after the case.

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