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Former drug addict who stole £75,000 from vulnerable father avoids jail

PUBLISHED: 14:37 18 February 2020 | UPDATED: 14:37 18 February 2020

A recovered drug addict has been sentenced after stealing £75,000 from his father. Picture: Adrian Judd

A recovered drug addict has been sentenced after stealing £75,000 from his father. Picture: Adrian Judd

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A recovered heroin addict who stole £75,000 from his vulnerable father has avoided jail.

Toby Lipton, 45, of Top Common in East Runton stole tens-of-thousands of pounds from his father over a two year period, including profiting from the sale of his home, Norwich Crown Court has heard.

Being sentenced by Judge Stephen Holt on February 18, Lipton was given a 20 month prison sentence - suspended for 18 months.

Judge Holt said he suspended the sentence out of concern for Lipton's child who has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and can only be controlled by Lipton.

He said: "Your concern is your child. You are the only one that can control them. I wonder if your father would have wanted his grandchild deprived of their father? I don't think so."

Lipton, who has not taken heroin for several years and previously worked as a drugs counsellor, has power of attorney along with his brother for his father who was diagnosed with vascular dementia in 2010 and lives in a care home.

His brother was not involved in the theft and his father, in his early 70s, is unaware of the crime due to his illness.

Lipton transferred £10,000 on two separate occasions from his father's bank account into his as well as the profit from the sale of his father's Repps with Bastwick home between September 2017 and June 2019.

Mitigating, Andrew Oliver said Lipton, who pleaded guilty, was remorseful.

He added Lipton, who is married, suffered with physical and mental health problems during the time. His family was also facing financial difficulties after his wife lost her teaching assistant job due to funding cuts which caused her to develop anxiety and depression.

Lipton is on disability benefits payments after leaving his job in 2019 due to physical health problems and Mr Oliver said the money was stolen for day-to-day living costs.

He added: "Lipton never sought to blame anyone one. He fears custody. His deepest concern is his closest family. He found himself in a difficult period. A perfect storm had arisen and the problems manifested."

Prosecuting, Martin Ivory said: "The monies have been dissipated substantially. It has all been spent."

The defendant's father's care never suffered and his fees are being paid by the council.

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