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Great Britain

Couple could be ordered to pay back over £34,000 of their ill-gotten gains

A COUPLE who plundered the bank account of a care home resident and blew the money on clothes, petrol and gambling, have been ordered to pay back more than £34,000 of their ill-gotten gains.

Robert Miller and Susan Miller, both 60, of Thornton Road, Thornton, Bradford, were working at Heaton Grange Residential Home when they stole from the elderly woman Alzheimer’s sufferer over a period of almost four years.

The pair were sentenced at Bradford Crown Court in June after pleading guilty to theft of £32,276.90.

Robert Miller also admitted defrauding the care home of £34,743.82.

Judge Colin Burn sentenced Robert Miller to two years in prison, suspended for two years, and Susan Miller to four months in jail, suspended for a year.

They were both ordered to undertake rehabilitation activities, and Robert Miller to perform 300 hours of unpaid work.

The couple were back in court today FRIDAY for a confiscation hearing under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

They sat side by side in the dock as Michael Collins, for the Crown, said that the lawyers could not agree the final figures.

Financial investigators want to claw back £34,743 from the Millers when the case is relisted on November 29.

Peter Hampton, barrister for Robert Miller, said the couple’s home was being valued.

During the sentencing hearing, Mr Collins said the stolen money went on hundreds of pounds worth of clothing, petrol, and to fund Robert Miller’s gambling addiction.

He posed as the home manager to build bonds of trust with the woman and her family before systematically syphoning off her money.

Standing order payments due to be made to the care home, of up to £1,800 a month, were diverted by Miller into his own bank account.

When questions were raised by the family, Susan Miller tried to bribe them with £3,000 to keep quiet.

Mr Collins said Robert Miller first met the victim when she visited her mother in the home before becoming a resident herself.

In 2016, her sister contacted Miller to make arrangements to amend the woman’s will.

He told her it would be difficult for her to be the executor while living in Canada and he should act as an agent.

When the family visited and asked to see bank statements, Miller told them the victim had ripped them up.

When relatives voiced their concerns, Susan Miller passed them an envelope containing £3,000 from the home’s safe, saying it was from the victim. The family then contacted the police.

Investigators discovered that money had been withdrawn from cash machines - which the victim had never used - and payments made at Greenwoods, Marks & Spencer and Boots. Petrol had also been bought, although the woman had never driven in her life.

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