Local News & Archive — February 26, 2016 at 11:42 am — Updated: March 15, 2016 at 12:20 am

Prestatyn woman spared jail for defrauding her father



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A Prestatyn woman has walked free from court after stealing £64,000 from her late father, who suffered from Alzheimer’s.

Mother-of-two Thelma Jakes was convicted of siphoning cash from James Wheat Snr. to spend on herself, including £6,000 on a new kitchen. Mr Wheat died three years ago at the age of 87.

She was jailed for two years but the judge at Caernarfon Crown Court suspended her sentence for 18 months after an appeal from her brother, who said a jail term would affect her daughters. Jakes fainted in court after the revised sentence was handed down.

The 55 year-old from Highbury Avenue denied fraud between February 2010 and June 2012. Her defence said she had been suffering from depression and taking medication at the time. She had been a good character before what happened and was facing her first prison term.

Jakes, who had looked after Mr Wheat Snr. until he was put into care, was spared immediate custody after two letters were read out in court, including one by James Wheat Jnr.

But Judge Philip Harris-Jenkins said during the trial she had blamed the crimes on his brother, who had first raised the alarm about the spending – she had continuously referred to Mr Wheat Jnr. in derogatory terms.

Judge Harris Jenkins told Jakes: ”Your finances at the time were what can be described as chaotic. However, I am satisfied the figure would have been in excess of £50,000. You were unable to accept what you did was an act of dishonesty. You took advantage of your elderly father’s position, using the money he had saved up during many years of humble living. You used the money to your own ends.”

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