Where he belongs: ‘Despicable’ Manchester carer behind bars after befriending man, 98, to steal life savings

A ‘despicable’ Manchester carer who befriended a 98-year-old man and stole more than £36,000 of his life savings to fund his lavish lifestyle has been jailed today.

David Flaherty, 50, of Woodend Road, Benchill pleaded guilty to ten charges of fraud by abuse of position and one of theft at Manchester Crown Court.

The offender became friends with the elderly victim after his wife became the man’s carer.

He used the opportunity to help out with household chores and gain the innocent man’s trust.

Once Mr Flaherty had manipulated his way into the victim’s life, he then started to abuse his position.

Over two years the offender used the elderly gentleman’s current account and credit card to steal almost £5,000, to pay for his phone bill, Sky TV, mortgage and even a holiday to Benidorm.

The victim had willingly given some of the money to Mr Flaherty, innocently thinking the money was being used to buy building supplies, but little did he know the offender was making other payments without his consent.

During this period Mr Flaherty also cunningly convinced the victim to write two cheques, totaling £13,000, again under the pretense it was going towards building supplies.

The offender only spent £287 on building supplies and used the remaining £12,713 to fund his corrupt lifestyle.

Mr Flaherty stole the majority of the money through withdrawals from cash machines, pocketing almost £16,000 from the victim’s account between June 2011 and June 2013.

Detective Constable Shaun Nicholls of Greater Manchester Police, said: “This was a despicable and selfish act against a vulnerable member of our society. 

“Worse than that, it was a deliberate and callous breach of trust of an elderly man who was supposed to be the offender’s friend. 

“Flaherty built up a relationship with the victim, gained access to his financial details and started to use his life savings as his own personal trust fund.”

Money wasn’t the only theft that crossed the offender’s mind and he used his position of home carer to steal £1500 worth of jewellery which belonged to the victim’s late wife.

Among these items were two pocket watches, a necklace and a diamond ring and Mr Flaherty pawned this items to again, fund his lifestyle.

“Not content with fraudulently borrowing large sums of money, Flaherty flagrantly used the victim’s debit and credit cards to fund his own lifestyle and when that was not enough, even resorted to stealing jewellery he knew to have enormous sentimental value,” Det Const Nicholls added.

“The victim worked hard all of his life to ensure he could enjoy a comfortable retirement and this sentence sends a message to those who think they can abuse a position of great trust and take advantage of the hard work of others.” 

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