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HomeNewsNorth East NewsNewcastle Crown CourtSouth Shields man who plundered the life savings of his dying sister walks free from courtCruel Kevin Hunter stole up to 40,000 from his seriously ill sister to pay off his wife’s spiralling credit card debts16:37, 4 MAY 2016Updated16:41, 4 MAY 2016Kevin Hunter, 61, of Whiteleas Way, South Shields has walked free from court despite plundering his dying sister’s life savings

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Trusted Kevin Hunter has walked free from court despite plundering his dying sister’s life savings.

Hunter had been given control of Lynne Purvis’ bank account after she was struck down with multiple sclerosis and ended up in care.

But the 61 year old, who works in accounts and has no previous convictions, stole up to which he says was used to pay off his wife’s spiralling credit card bills.

A court heard the betrayal of trust only came to light when Lynne died last October and the family realised that the savings, which her three children would have inherited, had gone.

As Hunter was given a suspended prison sentence at Newcastle Crown Court, Lynne’s daughter, Michelle Purvis, said in a statement to the court: “My mother would be horrified to find her brother had stolen her money.

“It means her children will be left with no inheritance.”

The court heard Hunter had been given permission to deal with his sister’s bank account in 2010.

But nobody suspected anything until Lynne died last October, aged 58.

Prosecutor Michael Bunch said: “It then came to the attention of her children, of whom there are three, that their mother’s bank account, when they approached it to deal with probate, was reduced to almost nil.

“The matter was referred to the police and their investigation established that this defendant had been granted the ability to deal with that account in 2010.

“Thereafter bank accounts obtained identified regular patterns of withdrawals from the account in the period his sister had suffered ill health. She had been in care since 2008.”

Prosecutors said a total of had been stolen, although Hunter’s barrister argued it was closer to When Hunter was interviewed by police he was asked about which had gone missing in the last year of his sister’s life.

Mr Bunch said: “He admitted he had made some withdrawals on her behalf in relation to that amount.

“When asked for the amount, he said it would have been something in the region of against the total withdrawals of “Effectively he conceded the balance was used for him for his own purposes, he being in financial difficulties.”

Hunter, of Whiteleas Way, South Shields, pleaded guilty to theft and was given 12 months suspended for two years.

Recorder Jonathan Aitken told him: “It was a substantial sum, between and you took from your late sister while you were handling her bank account.

“That was money that would ordinarily have passed on to her relatives.”

The court heard Hunter wants to pay the money back and has saved up almost so far. He also faces proceeds of crime action to try to claw back more of his ill gotten gains.
ugg type slippers South Shields man who plundered the life savings of his dying sister walks free from court