Police vow to relentlessly pursue thieving Hartlepool couple who fleeced godmother, 91

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.

POLICE have vowed to relentlessly pursue a thieving Hartlepool couple to claw back every penny they stole from their 91-year-old godmother.

Husband and wife Andrew Reeve, 55, and Lesley Reeve, 57, virtually wiped out dementia sufferer Joan Killen’s life savings after they stole more than £100,000 in just two years.

The selfish couple were reunited at Teesside Crown Court for the first time yesterday since they were each jailed for two-and-a-half years for a Proceeds of Crime hearing.

The court heard they plundered a total of £108,984 from Lesley Reeve’s godmother Miss Killen, who they called ‘Aunty Joan’.

A judge ordered them to pay back £69,717 as compensation to Miss Killen within the next six months or face another 12 months in prison.

That was how much police found was available to seize including a VW car, cash in bank accounts, and equity in their Chichester Close house.

But Barry Dixon, a police financial investigator, said they will pursue the couple for the remaining £40,000 they stole if they come into money in the future.

Mr Dixon said: “It is not something that we forget about.

“That debt will stay with them forever until it is paid off.

“If they come into more assets in the future that haven’t been used in this confiscation we can come back to court and ask for those to be taken as well.”

And Detective Constable Rachel Graham, who led the investigation into the Reeves, said: “We made a promise to Miss Killen at the beginning of the inquiry that we would try to get back every penny for her and that’s what we have done.”

The Reeves used the cash, after transferring it from Miss Killen’s various accounts to their own, to pay off credit card debts, buy new cars and convert their garage into a gym and wet room.

Miss Killen was left in a sparsely furnished care home and often did not have enough money to pay for her care costs and things like haircuts.

The Reeves claimed she had given them permission to spend her money as they saw fit, but were found guilty of theft after a trial last August.

When they were sentenced, Judge Simon Bourne-Arton, the Recorder of Middlesbrough, called them “utterly materialistic”.