‘Carers’ Defraud Widow of £1/2m – Mum & Daughter Face Jail

A mother and daughter face jail after being found guilty of defrauding a 92 year-old widow out of £500,000 in a bogus care scam during which they used her drive as a pitch for their own burger van business.

Wendy and Lisa Bell “milked” Parkinson’s sufferer Audrey Hammond out of her money by charging extortionate rates to look after her.

They were described by a prosecutor as having “grossly overclaimed” for work as well as using the house’s drive as a base for the burger van business.

A jury at Bradford Crown Court yesterday took five hours and 22 minutes to deliver the verdict.

Crime and the elderlyWendy Bell, 57, was convicted of conspiracy to defraud and a further charge of fraud by making false representations to Mrs Hammond’s power of attorney solicitor Myron Handzij.

Lisa Bell, 30, was also found guilty of conspiracy to defraud the victim, of Cracoe, near Skipton, North Yorkshire. Judge Colin Burn told Wendy Bell that a jail sentence was “absolutely unavoidable”.

The verdicts ended a three-week trial in which the jury heard how the Bell’s, together with Amanda Carroll, 44, Linda Mynott, 60, Caron Gilbert, 33, and Alice Barker, 59, all overcharged Mrs Hammond for poor and sometimes uncompleted care.

Wendy Bell was overpaid by more than £138,000 over three years. The trial heard that Wendy Bell and Carroll began working for vulnerable Mrs Hammond in 2008 and recruited friends and family to become her so-called carers.

Prosecutor Stephen Ward said: “Each of them was charged with the responsibility of caring for an elderly and frail lady who through debilitating illness was not capable of managing her own affairs.

“Not one of these family or friends who were appointed as carers had any qualification to provide care for a patient with Parkinson’s disease.”

The defendants will all be sentenced on February 13th.

“How do people who do these sorts of thing live with themselves – despicable”

Russell. B. 2015. Daily Express 24th Jan 2015, p. 17

First Disabled Referee – 19 Year Old Wheelchair User

Football mad Nathan Mattick has given his disability the red card and become the first wheelchair-user referee.

The 19 year-old was born with cerebal palsy which left him unable to walk.

But he vowed not to let the condition get in the way of his dream to blow the whistle on the football pitch. His hard work has seen him become Britain’s first official ref in a wheelchair – and he now regularly takes charge of games for both able-bodied and disabled players.

Football RefereeNathan, from Cheltenham, Glos, dashes about the pitch in all weathers in his electric chair.

He said: “I was so nervous the first time I refereed at a game.

“I thought the players and managers would give me a hard time because I was in a chair and that they would question why I was refereeing  able-bodied football.

“But I had no problems. People with disabilities can do what able-bodied people do. We just do it in a different way.

“I have cerebral palsy but that doesn’t mean I can’t do things.

It’s important you respect every single person whether they have a disability or not. We can all contribute to this world.”

Steve Tanner, referee development officer for Gloucestershire FA where Nathan did his ref’s exams, praised his skills.

He said: “We are delighted to be able to support Nathan in achieving his dream of refereeing.”

“It’s brilliant how you’ve broken down barriers and trailblazed to your goal. Well done Nathan”

Farrel. C. 2015. Daily Star 24th Jan 2015, p. 22.