Man stole money from disabled pensioner

A MAN who stole money and medication from a disabled family friend who had let him stay at his home has been jailed.

Steven Porter had been staying with pensioners John and Dora Betten at their home in Clevedon earlier this year, when he stole Mr Betten’s bank card and took out a total of �1,700.

He used some of the money to buy car insurance in Mr Betten’s name, but he was arrested after crashing his car in Tickenham on May 3. He was also found to have been driving while under the influence of alcohol.

The 36-year-old, of no fixed abode but originally of Stapleford, Nottingham, was sentenced to nine months in prison by magistrates at North Somerset Courthouse on October 14.

The court heard he had been living with the Bettens at their home in Summerlins Drive, but that he had abused their trust by stealing the couple’s medication and Mr Betten’s bank card, from which he had taken a total of �1,700.

Some of this he used to buy insurance for his Vauxhall Vectra in the disabled Mr Betten’s name, despite the fact that he was disqualified from driving, and the court heard from prosecutor Kelly Marshall that the withdrawal of the money had caused Mr Betten ‘immense upset’ as it had left him severely overdrawn.

Porter was caught when he crashed his car in Clevedon Road, Tickenham, and the insurance fraud was discovered.

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Faced with 11 separate charges, which included resisting a police officer, theft, fraud and failure to surrender to bail, he had originally pleaded not guilty but admitted the charges only a couple of days before he was due to face trial.

He was also disqualified from driving for four years, and in sentencing magistrate David Dennis said: “My colleagues and I considered this so serious because of the vulnerable victims and also because it was such a serious breach of trust.”