A former BMW plant worker who spent his elderly mother’s money on gambling and taking his girlfriend out has been jailed.

Derek Moffitt, 70 was given power of attorney over his mother’s financial affairs when the woman, now 94, went into a care home in 2015.

Oxford Crown Court heard how, over two years, he stole more than £70,000-worth of his mother’s money. The thefts were discovered after Moffitt’s mum asked her son to show him the bank statements – and instead of the documents he tried to give the nonagenarian £500 in cash.

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In a victim personal statement read to the court on Monday by prosecutor Harper Marshall, Moffitt’s mother said: “I cannot understand how my son has turned out this way.

“I trusted him and he took advantage of me. I thought he would take care of me but instead he has knocked me flat.”

She added that, although she was in her 90s, ‘I still have a brain and heart – but he seems to have no heart’. “He has left me to rot,” said the woman.

Jailing him for two years and four months, Judge Michael Gledhill QC told the defendant: “A message has to go out to people who have control over other people’s financial affairs that if they abuse it the consequences are very serious indeed.”

He added of the mother’s accounts: “You treated it like your piggy bank. Your new girlfriend need to be wined and dined and that is what you paid the bills with.”

Earlier, the court heard how Moffitt’s mother moved into a residential care home in 2015. In May that year, she voluntarily gave her son power of attorney over her financial affairs. She gifted him £30,000 in order to buy a new car.

In 2017, she asked him to show her the bank statements over growing concerns about how her money was being spent.

Moffitt instead offered her £500 in cash. She refused the cash and renewed her request for the bank statements.

Her niece, who had previously been partly responsible for the woman’s care, received the statements and discovered cash withdrawals amounting to thousands of pounds every month. One of the last payments out the accounts was for a meal at a curry restaurant.

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Over a two-year period he was found to have taken more than £73,500.

In 2018, the victim’s niece confronted Moffitt about the stolen funds. “He advised her he was in debt, suffered with a gambling problem and just laughed about it,” Ms Marshall said. The police became involved the following year.

Moffitt, of The Avenue, Kennington, pleaded guilty to fraud. He had no previous convictions.

Mitigating, Nawaz Khan said his client was ‘full of remorse’ and ashamed of his actions. The talented youth footballer had spent his career working for Rover then BMW. He had already paid back £6,000 in compensation.

Judge Gledhill said Moffitt had ‘completely betrayed the trust’ his mother placed in him. He was ordered to pay £67,516.73 in compensation at a rate of £600 a month.

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This story was written by Tom Seaward. He joined the team in 2021 as Oxfordshire's court and crime reporter.  

To get in touch with him email: Tom.Seaward@newsquest.co.uk

Follow him on Twitter: @t_seaward