Dad steals son’s inheritance

A father who stole his son’s inheritance and blew the money on drink and drugs has been sentenced to 20 months in prison suspended for two years and ordered to complete 240 hours of unpaid work and a rehabilitation course at Swansea Crown Court.

WalesOnline reported that Daniel Caulfield’s mother had set up a savings fund for his estranged son when she died in 2015. The £38,000-plus sum was due to be paid to the boy when he turned 18, so that he could pay for either a university education or a house. Caulfield was made a trustee for the accounts, which he then looted.

Caulfield, 38, from Milton in South Wales broke down in tears when he was spared jail after the judge branded his crime as “despicable”. He had been a joint trustee of the fund with his sister, who did not know he had emptied the account and spent the money.

Money spent on drink and drugs

The court heard that when Caulfield’s son turned 18, he wrote to his father and aunt requesting the money, but Caulfield replied saying there was nothing left as he’d spent it all on drink, drugs and a holiday.

When the police in Llanelli interviewed Caulfield, he admitted stealing and spending the money, and that he was sorry. His son had written an impact statement, which was read out in court. In it, he said that he’d planned to put the money toward attending university or buying a house.

Caulfield admitted fraud. His solicitor, John Allchurch, said his client accepted that his behaviour was “reprehensible and inexcusable” and that he had let his son down. He added that his client ran a carpet cleaning business and had got into financial problems due to the adverse health effects caused by drug use.

Although he’d spent some of the money on a holiday, most of it had been used for alcohol and drugs.

Not something to be proud of

It was not something the defendant could be proud of, Mr Allchurch added, saying that Caulfield wanted to set up a repayment plan to return the money to his son.

Judge Paul Thomas QC told Caulfield it was difficult to imagine a more “despicable” offence, and that the day had been “singularly unhelpful” when explaining where the money had gone, and that he wasn’t satisfied that the court knew exactly what had happened.

He added that a Proceeds of Crime Act financial investigation would follow, and that he hoped Caulfield’s five days on remand in prison had proved a “miserable experience”.

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