A woman pretended to be her husband and withdrew thousands of pounds worth of his cash – as he lay seriously ill after suffering a stroke.

Lynn Hunter was branded “despicable” by a district judge who heard that she frittered away the cash on everyday online purchases such as iTunes.

The Dewsbury woman pleaded guilty to committing fraud by false respresentation.

Kirklees Magistrates’ Court heard that the 51-year old stole £4,500 from her gravely ill husband Simon Hunter over a five month period between November last year and April this year.

Kirklees Magistrates Court, Huddersfield
Kirklees Magistrates Court, Huddersfield

Under the pretence of being him she used his online Halifax account to make money transfers to her own account as well as using his bank card to withdraw cash.

Mr Hunter was hospitalised after suffering a stroke and has since been moved to a care home, the Huddersfield court was told.

Prosecutor Jill Seddon explained that family members confronted his wife as they were concerned about money being withdrawn from the account.

Hunter initially denied acting dishonestly but then changed her plea to guilty on the day of her trial.

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The bank confirmed that it will not reimburse Mr Hunter but the couple still planned to remain together, her solicitor Paul Blanchard said.

He added: “The parties remain married and I think there are couples who go through periods of crisis.

“She’s frittered away a significant amount of money. She’s on the bread line which is the principal reason for her offending.”

Deputy District Judge Wajeed Khalil told Hunter: “You took advantage of your husband who was vulnerable after suffering a life-changing stroke.

“He was in hospital and later placed in care, he was clearly in the middle of care and unable to communicate.

“When he was good health he insisted on having separate bank accounts because even in good health he was fearful of this risk.

“This risk transpired when you transferred his money and took money from cash machines.

“In my view it’s the ultimate betrayal and breach of trust.

“There’s a reasonable expectation that those who are nearest and dearest will be looked after by their family – what you did is quite despicable.”

Hunter, of Heath Close in Chickenley, was sentenced to a 16-week suspended sentence and will have to abide by a 56 day curfew.

Due to her financial difficulties she will have to pay back just £1,000 of the estimated £4,500 stolen from her husband.