Penarth woman escapes jail despite £5000 theft from own father
9:00am Sunday 29th July 2012 in News
A PENARTH woman has escaped jail after stealing nearly £5,000 from her father.
Jacqueline Cooksey, of, Plymouth Road, was given a 6-month sentence, suspended for 18 months at Cardiff Crown Court on July 13.
She pleaded guilty to 11 charges of fraud by false representation, as the court heard how she 'dishonestly aquired' £4,684 from her fathers bank account.
He father, James Whitehouse, who lives in Staffordshire, has been fully re-imbursed by his bank.
"They are the real losers in this matter," said John Warren, prosecuting.
He told the court Cooksey had been caring for her father in Penarth as he recovered from a hip operation when she started making payments which he had not authorised.
"She transferred large sums of money from his account into her own personal account without her father's permission or knowledge," he said.
"She spent the money on holidays, clothes, paying her rent and funding her admitted alcoholic lifestyle."
Defending her, Carl Williams, said there had been no repetition of the bahaviour.
"She has problems that arise from excessive intake of alcohol," he said.
"This was a case of family fraud and one that had an inevitability of being caught - her father remained the account holder throughout and person to whom statements would be sent.
"But despite the offence and the terms of her bail, which mean she cannot speak to her father, she says they still have a good relationship."
He said if she went to prison she would lose her housing association accomodation.
Recorder Christopher Clee QC, said: "This was a mean offence taken in breach of trust.
"You took advantage of your fathers illness and milked his account, spending the money going on holiday and buying an expensive coat, for example."
But he spared her jail.
"You probably fully deserve it, but I don't think it would achieve a great deal in this instance," he added.
"But any criminal offence committed during the next 18 months, and you will be back in court.
"And failure to comply with any of the requirements of you, will see another judge be far less lenient to you than I have been."
Cooksey must also attend an alcohol treatment programme as decided by the probation service.