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Businessman stole £65,000 from mother after Rick Wakeman deal went wrong

By John Scott | Stourbridge | Crime | Published:

A businessman plundered his mother’s bank account to the tune of £65,000 after plans to work with rock star Rick Wakeman collapsed, a judge heard.

Rick Wakeman withdrew from a project involving Base Video Production Ltd, the court heard

Andrew Dingley, 52, had power of attorney over her finances following the sudden death of his father in October 2016, Wolverhampton Crown Court was told.

Her husband had always looked after their money during the 55-year marriage and it was clear she could not handle it herself, said Mr Paul Spratt, prosecuting.

Their Walsall house was sold for £95,000, which, added to a £9,500 ISA and other smaller savings, was enough to pay for the care home she moved into, the court heard.

In March 2016 Dingley had become one of two directors running Base Video Production Ltd which had studios in Stourbridge and had invested a significant amount of money in a project featuring Rick Wakeman, it was said.

But the star withdrew and the plan collapsed, leaving the defendant out of pocket.

Wolverhampton Crown Court, where the case was heard

Mr Spratt maintained: “He started to use his mother’s account as his own while taking £65,000.”

The fraud was uncovered after it was discovered his mother was between £11,000 and £14,000 in debt to the care home and his brother asked what had happened.

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His mother is still at the care home with her fees now being paid by the local authority with the family having to pay a £200-a-month top up split between the two brothers.

Ms Jenny Josephs, defending, conceded: “He got completely carried away and lost money when Rick Wakeman was pulled out of the project.”

She added: "This was a huge breach of trust. His mother was extremely upset at what happened but they still get on. If he is sent immediately to prison it will impact on his ability to repay.

"He was completely out of his depth, got completely carried away and lost money when Rick Wakeman was pulled out of the project. Everything got out of hand."

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The original care home debt had been paid off by the defendant and his wife. He now has a job as a marketing consultant and plans to remortgage his house to repay his mother.

Judge Simon Ward deferred sentence until December because he was not convinced by Dingley, from Westminster Road, Malvern, who admitted fraud by abuse of position.

He explained: "I am not impressed by what you have done so far and expect to see real progress in paying back the money that has been stolen when you next appear in court."

John Scott

By John Scott
Reporter/News Feature Writer

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