'Mean and nasty' carer stole almost £10,000 from his partner after she was diagnosed with terminal cancer

A man stole almost £10,000 from his partner while he was supposed to be her carer after she was diagnosed with terminal cancer.

Thursday, 8th April 2021, 7:00 am

Sean Lister helped himself to the cash which he spent on gambling after being trusted with the victim's bank card.

Leeds Crown Court heard Lister also "bought himself gifts" and became aggressive when challenged about the missing money.

The 56-year-old was jailed for 16 months after pleading guilty to theft.

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He stole almost £10,000 from the woman.

The judge who sentenced Lister said: "Some offences are simply so objectionable, so nasty, and so mean that punishment can only be achieved with a term of immediate imprisonment."

The court heard Lister's partner of nine years had to give up her job with the NHS after being diagnosed with cancer and received a payment from her employer.

Lister became a carer for the woman and was allowed to use her bank card to buy her household items and food.

The victim was contacted by the council in July last year to inform her that her rent had not been paid.

Harry Crowson, prosecuting, said the woman was shocked as she believed she had enough money in her bank to pay the rent.

She confronted Lister and asked him where he was getting his money from as he had given up his job.

Mr Crowson said: "He became aggressive and tried to change the subject."

The woman asked her son to help her investigate and they discovered that bank transactions had been carried out which she had no knowledge of.

Bank statements showed cash had been withdrawn which had not been authorised by her.

The prosecutor said: "She was extremely hurt by the information and it clearly had been done by her partner who she trusted a great deal."

Despite her condition, the victim made herself homeless by moving out of their home as she was so upset at Lister's betrayal.

Lister continued to protest his innocence until he admitted to her son he had taken the money and that he had a gambling problem.

Mr Crowson said: "At one point the defendant became aggressive with her son, making a threat to use a shotgun."

Lister, of Rockingham Street, Fitzwilliam, pleaded guilty to theft.

The victim provided a statement to the court describing how she felt hurt and humiliated by what Lister had done to her.

She said: "I think he bought himself gifts.

"I did not know anything. Obviously, when you care for someone and live with someone you do not think your other half could do that to you."

Becky Jane, mitigating, said: "He accepts it was a truly disgraceful offence against a loved one who is suffering from terminal cancer."

Ms Jane said Lister had a long-standing gambling addiction which he had managed to control and fund with his own money until giving up his job.

The barrister said: "It was during the time he was alone he would turn to racing on TV.

"That is where the gambling recommenced. It would get the better of him. In essence he could not resist."

Jailing Lister, Recorder Michael Fanning said: "The bottom line is you are the author of the predicament you are in today.

"You broke her trust. You used her bank card in circumstances you knew where never going to be allowed."