‘Utterly materialistic’ couple show no remorse after being jailed for wiping out godmother’s £100k savings

Lesley and Andrew Reeve arrive at Teesside Crown Court for the start of their trial.

Lesley and Andrew Reeve arrive at Teesside Crown Court for the start of their trial.

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A GREEDY couple who fleeced their elderly godmother of more than £100,000 have been jailed.

A GREEDY couple who fleeced their elderly godmother of more than £100,000 have been jailed.

Husband and wife Andrew and Lesley Reeve virtually wiped out 91-year-old dementia sufferer Joan Killen’s life savings in two years of high spending.

Jailing the “utterly materialistic” couple for two-and-a-half years each a judge said they had not shown one bit of remorse for their behaviour.

They blew more than £11,000 on paying off Mrs Reeve’s credit card bill, bought a new car for one of their sons and added a gym to their £220,0000 detached home in Chichester Close, the Fens, Hartlepool.

Miss Killen’s savings quickly dwindled from £130,000 in January 2009 to just over £3,000 within two years after Andrew Reeves, 55, had gained control over her bank accounts.

While some was spent on her care bills they selflessly spent the rest on themselves.

Council officials launched an investigation into Mrs Killen’s finances after she began struggling to pay her care home bills.

It was after the pensioner was not even left with enough everyday spending money.

The Reeves were found guilty at Teesside Crown Court last month of jointly stealing £99,681 from Miss Killen.

That was made up of her life savings and pocketing money from renting out her home after she went to stay in a care home after a fall.

Mrs Reeve, 56, was also convicted of stealing £2,940 in Miss Killen’s pension payments.

Paul Abrahams, mitigating for Andrew Reeves, said prison will be harder for them as they will be separated from each other and their children for the first time.

Among the references handed to the judge was one from Hartlepool councillor Ray Wells, plus the Reeves’ sons.

Nigel Soppitt, mitigating for Lesley Reeves, said she had had suicidal thoughts after the verdict and hardly went out because of people’s “burning eyes”.

He said the couple were expected to inherit Miss Killen’s estate, but the judge said they had pre-empted the process.

Sentencing, the Recorder of Middlesbrough, Judge Simon Bourne-Arton, said: “You spent all her money on yourselves by doing up your house.

“You claimed in interview and in evidence that you loved her, that you cared for her, that you effectively nurtured her and you would do nothing to harm her. You did none of that.

“I have seen nothing, not even a flicker of regret as to what you have done, in fact quite the reverse.

“I have read moving testimonials from your friends and colleagues and now you will never be able to hold yourselves up in the community as being such (hard working) people.”

A council spokesman said: “Hartlepool council is committed to protecting vulnerable people in the local community and this includes the identification of financial and property abuse.

“We have worked closely with the police and the care service provider to achieve a successful prosecution.

“This case serves as a reminder that financial abuse of vulnerable people will not be tolerated in Hartlepool and we will take all necessary steps to hold people to account.”

Proceeds of crime proceedings will take place later to retrieve as much of the stolen money as possible.