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Convicted of neglect after leaving mother, 96, to live in squalor

PUBLISHED: 19:25 16 January 2015 | UPDATED: 19:27 16 January 2015

Snaresbrook Crown Court Pic: John Stillwell/PA

Snaresbrook Crown Court Pic: John Stillwell/PA

PA Archive/Press Association Images

A retired security guard who left his mother to live in squalor without heating or hot water is facing a jail term after being convicted of fraud and neglect today (Fri).

Brian Matthews’ 96-year-old mother, Winifred, was living in extreme poverty at her home in Cranham between 2010 and 2013.

The 75-year-old, who had power of attorney over his mother, has been convicted of diverting money from her bank account and pension.

During his trial Snaresbrook Crown Court heard that the floors and walls of Mrs Matthews’ home were covered in urine and excrement.

Prosecutor, Simon Sandford, said her living conditions did not come to light until her niece, Rosalind Reynolds, visited the property with her husband in early 2012 and alerted the London Borough of Havering.

“They found a terrible smell coming from the house, he said.

“There was no gas on so the cooker in the kitchen was unusable and there was no hot water.”

Matthews, of Old Yarmouth Road, Broome, Suffolk, told the court his mother was “a stubborn woman” who refused to let him make changes to the house.

He would visit once every few weeks and bring her milk, bread and a bottle of sherry.

Matthews’ said he had arranged for meals to be delivered and claimed she refused to allow him to organise a professional carer for her.

Matthews had power of attorney over his mother, who is now 98, revoked in April 2013 by the Court of Protection, and she has since been placed in a care home in Romford.

He has been convicted of two counts of fraud and one offence of neglect of a person who lacks capacity. Adjourning sentence until February 20. Judge Bernard Doherty released Matthews on bail under the condition he does not contact his mother.


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