Ipswich mum who stole £26k of autistic son’s money avoids prison sentence

McKno appeared at Ipswich Crown Court.

McKno appeared at Ipswich Crown Court. - Credit: Archant

A woman who helped herself to £26,000 of her 25-year-old son’s money while he was in a care home has walked free from court.

A woman who helped herself to £26,000 of her 25-year-old son’s money while he was in a care home has walked free from court.

Sentencing Irene Fogbel to a two-year prison sentence, suspended for two years, Judge David Goodin said at the time of the offence she had been “in the grip of a gambling addiction”.

He described what Fogbel had done as “mean and disgraceful” and said: “You took advantage of your position of trust as his mother, the person he was entitled to place the greatest possible trust, to repeatedly abuse that trust to line your own pockets.”

He said Fogbel’s income had been spent on gambling and she had stolen money from her son to keep her household afloat.

Fogbel, of Halton Crescent, Ipswich, denied fraudulently taking £26,000 from her son’s funds for her own use between 2010 and 2014, but was found guilty at Ipswich Crown Court last month.

During her trial 51-year-old Fogbel, who had a general power of attorney for her son Solomon Fogbel’s financial affairs, said she spoke to him about her money problems and he agreed to let her have £5,000.

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It was claimed Fogbel withdrew cash from her son’s bank accounts and spent his money on paying her bills, gambling, food and clothes for herself.

She denied using his money for gambling. However, she accepted on some occasions she used his bank card to buy clothes and hair products for herself if she didn’t have her own bank card with her.

The court heard Solomon was diagnosed as being on the autistic spectrum and having a moderate learning disability.

In April 2010, his mother took out a general power of attorney giving her control of her son’s two of his bank accounts into which his benefits were paid, while he was in residential care.

However, Fogbel said she did not understand she was meant to keep a record of payments made on his behalf.

The fraud came to light in May 2014 when Mr Fogbel was informed his benefits had been overpaid by £4,800 and he needed to repay the money.

Lynne Shirley for Fogbel said Solomon Fogbel still wanted a relationship with his mother and she had been in phone contact with him. She said Fogbel was sorry for the way she had handled her son’s affairs.