Court hears Lightcliffe man thought OAP's generous cash was for his phone
Nov 16 2010 Huddersfield Daily Examiner
A MAN accused of swindling an elderly widow out of thousands of pounds has told a jury he thought the pensioner was being “generous” when she gave him cash every week.
Andrew Harding, 27, has denied taking up to £100-a-week from 71-year-old Brenda Nicholls and he insisted yesterday that the money he was given was used to top-up his phone.
The prosecution has alleged that over more than three years Harding obtained an estimated £15,000 from the vulnerable pensioner on the pretext that the cash was being saved in their “wedding fund”.
Giving evidence to the jury at Bradford Crown Court former supermarket worker Harding, of Poplar View, Lightcliffe, denied ever asking Mrs Nicholls for money and said she only gave him £30 every Monday for his phone.
“It’s been said that you were engaged to be married to her,” said Harding’s barrister Gerald Hendron.
“I was never engaged to be married to her,” replied Harding.
The jury has heard that both Mrs Nicholls and Harding have learning difficulties and yesterday the defendant maintained that it was the pensioner who had set a date for them to be married.
Harding claimed that Mrs Nicholls told him in 2008 that they would be married on June 12, 2012.
The court has heard that the wedding date was the same as the birthday of Harding’s grandmother but he said that was just a coincidence.
Prosecutor Chris Smith asked Harding if he was not worried about the pensioner giving him money every week and he replied: “No because I thought she was generous.”
The trial continues.