Man stole pension cash from his disabled brother

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A man deprived his disabled brother out of more than £26,000 by keeping pension money that did not belong to him, a court heard.

Kevin Austin, 53, of of Pildacre Brow, Ossett, carried out the deception for around 13 years before his offending came to light.

Leeds Crown Court heard the victim was Austin’s 60-year-old brother.

Anthony Moore, prosecuting, said the victim had learning difficulties, was unable to manage his own financial affairs and was unable to fully care for himself.

He had been cared for by his father until his death in 1999 when Austin became responsible for managing his father’s estate. His father was in receipt of miners’ pension scheme payments which should have passed to Austin’s brother following his death.

Austin kept the money for himself after arranging for weekly payments to be paid into his own bank account.

Austin’s brother moved in to residential care accommodation in Leeds in 1999 but those in charge of the premises were not made aware that he was entitled to the pension payments.

The offences came to light in 2012 when the mineworkers’ pension service contacted the residential home.

Austin was interviewed and admitted that he had kept the money for himself and accepted that he should not have done. He pleaded guilty to theft.

The court heard Austin’s brother was now in receipt of the pension payments and the residential home now had legal power of attorney over his financial affairs.

Ian Cook, mitigating, said Austin had admitted the offences at an early stage.

Austin was given a 12 month prison sentence, suspended for 18 months, and ordered to do 210 hours of unpaid work.

The Recorder of Leeds, judge Peter Collier, QC, told Austin: “It was a mean thing to do.”