Jail for couple who used elderly neighbour’s debit card to buy drugs and alcohol

Astra and Paul Marriott. Picture: CAMBS POLICE

Astra and Paul Marriott. Picture: CAMBS POLICE - Credit: Archant

A couple who stole thousands of pounds of savings from their elderly and vulnerable neighbour have been jailed for a total of six years.

Paul and Astra Marriott, of Tennyson Close, Huntingdon, started using their 83-year-old neighbour’s debit card for personal purchases in 2016 and spent up to the £6,000 limit on her credit card in a matter of weeks.

Paul, 48, made himself the victim’s carer without her knowledge, meaning he received a monthly carer allowance. Post in the victim’s name, including bank and credit card statements, was found at their home.

After concerns were raised by the victim’s son, police discovered Astra, 37 and her husband had used the victim’s credit card to purchase food, heroin, cannabis, alcohol and electrical items. In total they spent £14,000.

The couple denied the offences and went on trial at Peterborough Crown Court, however they changed their pleas to guilty after the victim’s video interview with police was shown to the jury.

On Tuesday (November 27), they were each jailed for three years at the same court, for two counts of fraud each – one for the use of the victim’s current account and one for the use of the victim’s credit card.

They also received restraining orders, preventing them from contacting the victim or going to her home address.

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DC Martyn Pinyoun said: “The Marriotts took advantage of a frail, vulnerable and bedbound woman who trusted them when she needed assistance.

“They abused that trust and stole from her on a daily basis, leaving her in a negative financial situation without her knowledge.”