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Jury considers its verdict over Ipswich woman accused of spending £27k of autistic son's benefits

PUBLISHED: 08:10 09 February 2016 | UPDATED: 08:10 09 February 2016

GV - Ipswich Crown Court

GV - Ipswich Crown Court

The jury in the trial of an Ipswich woman accused of helping herself to £27,000 of her 25-year-old son's money while he was in a care home is expected to continue its deliberations today.

Before Ipswich Crown Court is Irene Fogbel, of Halton Crescent, Ipswich who has denied fraudulently taking £27,000 from her son’s funds for her own use between 2010 and 2014.

The jury retired to consider its verdict yesterday afternoon after listening to speeches by barristers in the case and the judge’s summing up.

Giving evidence 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 money problems she was having and he agreed to let her have £5,000.

She denied using money from her son’s bank accounts for gambling and said she had paid for this out of her own money.

She accepted on some occasions she had used his bank card to buy items such as clothes and hair products for herself if she didn’t have her own bank card with her.

She said when this happened she would repay Solomon by buying clothes or food for him, or by taking him out.

Fogbel said when she signed a general power of attorney to control Solomon’s financial affairs she didn’t understand she was meant to keep a record of payments made on his behalf.

It is alleged Fogbel made cash withdrawals from her son’s bank accounts and spent his money on paying her bills, gambling, food and clothes for herself.

The court has heard Solomon Fogbel was diagnosed at an early age 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 financial affairs, including two of his bank accounts into which his benefits were paid, while he was in residential care.

The alleged 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.

His mother was contacted by social workers as she had power of attorney and she said her son didn’t have the money to repay the overpayment.

Catherine Bradshaw, prosecuting, said the social workers couldn’t understand where Mr Fogbel’s benefit money had gone as he didn’t have material goods such as new clothes or electrical goods.

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