A former pub manager’s wife has been jailed for 18 months for stealing £64,000 from a relative and showing no remorse.
Mother-of-two Mary Tracey, took holidays to London and abroad and paid £2,000 towards her daughter’s wedding while pretending to be hard up.
She had shares in two properties – one in Scotland and one in England – and was thinking of buying another.
At the time Tracey was stealing from two bank accounts of the relative who also paid her £500-a-month for her assistance.
Mrs Tracey, 53, of Queensgate, Bridlington, appeared at Hull Crown Court for sentence on Monday (December 1) after pleading guilty to a single charge of theft between April 1 2012 and January 1 2014.
The court heard Tracey moved from Scotland to Bridlington to run a pub with her husband, but the business faltered and they bought a property in Queensgate.
The relative had previously given the couple £40,000 to pay off their mortgage.
Tracey began stealing convincing herself she would repay the money to the relative once the property in Scotland was sold. However, she ran into difficulties because there was a tenant in the house, estimated to be worth £200,000. She need money for a new roof and central heating.
In a victim impact statement, the relative said she did not accept Tracey’s claims to be hard up. She said: “I would love to know where the money has gone. She has been on holiday abroad, a trip to London and paid for her daughter’s wedding. It disgusts me to think I may have paid for these things. It does not seem to have played on her conscience. She was making plans to purchase another house. This does not sound like someone who is heavily in debt.
“This money was hard-earned family savings. It is terrible that someone can steal from a close relative. I don’t want anything to do with her anymore. I would like to get my money back.”
Defence barrister Paul Norton said Mrs Tracey suffers from epilepsy and her husband was dyslexic and jailing her would not speed up the sale of the house. “Those who know her have been shocked and surprised,” said Mr Norton.
“She has been making efforts to repay this money with the sale of the house. She got herself into a financial mess running two houses; a house in Scotland and one in Bridlington.
“In her own mind she had convinced herself she would pay back the money one the house was sold.”
Jailing her Recorder Felicity Davies said she had betrayed the trust of a relative who had already given her £40,000 to repay her mortgage and was also paying her £500-a-month.
“The author of the pre-sentence report says it is clear you have sought to minimise your offending and have shown little understanding of the impact or empathy,” said Recorder Davies. “You simply regret that you have been reported to the police and prosecuted.”
Judge Davies said it was not clear whether it was hardship of greed behind the theft.
She said she took the view it was her inability to change her lifestyle after losing the income from the pub.
Tracey was jailed for 18 months. She has been given until March 6 to comply with a compensation order to repay the stolen money.