Two convicted for theft of thousands of pounds from elderly neighbour Date published: 11th May 2018 3.24pm

A man and a woman have been convicted of stealing more than £23,000 from their 92-year-old neighbour.

Alan Boniface, 30, and Carlie Merryweather, 30, both of Wilkinson Street North, Ellesmere Port, pleaded guilty to theft at Chester Crown Court today (Friday 11 May).

Boniface and Merryweather used their elderly neighbour’s two bank cards between November 2016 and April 2017 to withdraw vast sums of money and stay in hotels in Ellesmere Port, Eastham, Chester, Birkenhead and Bromborough.

On one occasion the pair stayed in a hotel in Chester for 13 nights and withdrew £3,900 from ATMs in the city.

The victim, who thought of Boniface as a friend who would help him with shopping and household chores, noticed that he was overdrawn in February 2017. He called his son, who organised new bank new cards and new PIN numbers, and for the son to be in charge of the bank cards.

During this time there were no fraudulent transactions but a few weeks later the victim, who has since passed away, asked his son if he could have the cards back so he could manage his own finances and the fraudulent activity started again.

Detective Constable Steve McCabe said: “This is appalling breach of trust from two people who the victim trusted. The victim said that he thought Boniface was ‘an honourable man’ but unfortunately his life savings were being used to fund a lavish lifestyle.

“This case caused considerable stress to the victim and his family during the last months of his life and the detailed investigation we carried out unearthed more offending than the victim originally realised.”

Boniface was jailed for three years at Chester Crown Court and Merryweather was handed a 12 month prison sentenced, suspended for two years.