A judge jailed a Hemel man today after telling him he had committed as “nasty an offence as it is possible to imagine” against his own father.
Darren Parker “drained” his dad William’s bank account while he was in hospital being treated for the early stages of dementia.
He even sold the elderly man’s new 46 inch LCD television to pay for his heroin addiction, St Albans Crown Court heard.
Parker, 36, of St Albans Road, pleaded guilty to two charges of stealing cash and one of stealing the television between December 2012 and February last year. He also admitted breaking the terms of his bail by not turning up for a previous court hearing.
Prosecutor Justin Rouse said: “The defendant was stealing from his father on a regular basis after he went into hospital in November 2012. He gave his son his bank cards to pay his bills, but he was draining the cash from the account.”
Social services became involved and went to the elderly man’s home, in White Hart Drive, where the son was staying. He refused them access, but they were able to cancel the cards. Darren Parker and his partner, who were both heroin users, then went to the hospital in an attempt to get the elderly man to give them his new cards. They failed and were ejected.
A total of £1,216.63p had been taken out from cash points. A further £1,112 had been extracted by a direct debit set up in the name of Joshua Owen, a good friend of Darren Parker, who has not been traced by the police.
Parker also swapped his father’s 46 inch LCD TV, that had been bought in December 2012, for £200 and a 20 inch TV. He told the man who bought it from him that he needed money for a van deposit.
Mr Rouse said Parker had 14 previous convictions for 30 offences.
Defence barrister Adam Wolstenhome said: “He was using the money for drugs. Both he and his partner are heroin addicts. He had a £20 a day habit. He apologies to his father and is very ashamed for what he did.” In a letter from the partner handed to the judge, she described Parker as her “Rock.”
He had been working full time from the delivery firm DHL.
Judge Andrew Bright QC jailed him for 12 months for the thefts with a further seven days for the bail act offences.
He said: “The involved the breach of a high degree of trust. You drained his bank account over three months when he was in the early stages of dementia. He was a soft target. It is about as mean and nasty offence as it is possible to imagine.
“The message must go out that this kind of behaviour will not be tolerated.”