Ipswich 7/7 bombing widow’s appeal against sentence for stealing her son’s compensation to be heard next week
A Suffolk 7/7 bombing victim’s widow jailed for stealing £43,000 of the compensation her son received after losing his father is due to appeal her sentence next week.
Louise Gray was imprisoned for two years and eight months by Ipswich Crown Court in January for what Judge David Goodin described as “an act of wickedness beyond belief”.
Gray, of Sheldrake Drive, Ipswich, had previously pleaded guilty to stealing from her son between July 16, 2012, and November 29, 2013.
She frittered away the cash while looking after it for her son Adam, 20, after he was awarded £55,800 following the death of his father Richard in the bombing of a tube train at Aldgate.
Adam had claimed his mother dipped into the money after spending her own £250,000 compensation on clothes, home improvements, cars, an outdoor jacuzzi, luxury holidays and seven Chihuahuas.
Although admitting her guilt Louise Gray has lodged an appeal with the High Court against the length of her sentence.
The full appeal is due to be heard on Wednesday before three judges at the Court of Appeal in London.
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It will be presided over by Lady Justice Macur.
Gray is scheduled to appear via video link from East Sutton Park prison near Maidstone in Kent.
Accountant Richard Gray, 41 was one of the 52 people killed in the London bombings on July 7, 2005, as he commuted to work.
When Louise Gray was sentenced Judge Goodin also described what she had done to her son as a “terrible betrayal.”
Adam Gray was aged 11 when his tax expert father was killed by suicide bomber Shehzad Tanweer on a Circle Line train.
Two years after the attack the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority awarded £250,000 to Adam’s mother along with £50,000 for him.
His sister was awarded £100,000 as she is four years younger than him and would have felt her father’s loss for longer.
The children’s money was placed in trust until their 18th birthdays, but Adam gave his cash to his mother to look after when he turned 18.
He found out last year that the bulk of the money had gone when he asked her what had happened to it.
Richard Conley, who mitigated for Gray at her sentencing, described her as “a tragic figure”and said although it seemed she had been spending “freely and fecklessly” that wasn’t the case.
He said Gray had been unable to work after husband’s death because of her fragile mental state and because she had Adam and his sister to look after. She also had to finance a £57,000 shortfall in her mortgage and to pay day to living expenses.