A MAN offered to look after his grandmother’s finances after she broke her hip but ended up stealing her money.

James Hugh McKinnon, 30, of Chester Road, Penyffordd, stole £13,500, Flintshire magistrates’ court at Mold was told.

He was told it was a serious breach of trust and was sent to the crown court for sentence.

An investigation under The Proceeds of Crime Act will now take place to see how much money can be seized and returned.

Matthew Ellis, prosecuting, said McKinnon’s grandmother, Mrs Dorothy McKinnon, lived alone in Hawarden. She was 89 and in the summer suffered a fall which resulted in a broken hip.

“The defendant offered to look after her finances while she was incapacitated,” said Mr Ellis.

He had her bank statements, her credit card, her cheque book and PIN and he advised her about the best accounts to put her money in.

But between July and September he made out cheques to himself and to others.

He paid £400 for a party and money was taken out.

Money transfers were also made and the total amount came to £13,500.

McKinnon admitted five theft and fraud charges.

He had stolen £430. He made out five cheques to the value of £6,900 to himself, and he obtained a number of money transfers, one for £3,000 and another for £3,200.

Stephen Mullarkey, defending, argued that the case could be dealt with in the magistrates’ court but the court was advised that a Proceeds of Crime Act application could only be dealt with in the crown court.

McKinnon was a man of previous good character who had made admissions to the police and who had pleaded guilty at his very first appearance in court.

It was appreciated that it was a serious matter, he said, but magistrates said that even without The Proceeds of Crime Act application, the case would almost certainly have been sent to the crown court for sentence.

McKinnon had committed a breach of trust and the victim was vulnerable due to her age and position at the time of the offences.

McKinnon was bailed pending his appearance at Mold Crown Court at the end of December.

He was ordered not to approach his grandmother directly or indirectly, and he is not to enter the village of Hawarden.