30 November 2012

A Thetford man, who stole over £63,000 from his elderly relative has today been sentenced to four years imprisonment after being found guilty of theft last week.

Colin Bloom, aged 46 and of Monksgate had agreed with other family members to share a house with his elderly father in law whilst at the same time providing him with a standard of care, needed following health issues in 1991, which had been previously been undertaken by the victim's wife.

The victim had agreed, supported by his children. As the years passed, the victim’s son, who had power of attorney noticed that large amounts of money were being taken from the victim’s bank account.

By the time the victim died in 2010, and despite having a regular monthly income of over a thousand pounds and very little apparent outgoings, only £400 was left in his bank account.

In interview Colin Bloom admitted that he had made all withdrawals from his father in law's bank account but could not give an explanation for them except to say that his father in law was expensive to support.

DC Gemma Weeks, who led the investigation, welcomed the conviction saying: “The systematic draining of an elderly relative’s bank account is an extreme abuse of trust. This was an abhorrent crime which was rightfully reported to us so that it could be investigated extensively”.


Richards Family statement

On behalf of the family we are a very pleased that, after nearly three weeks, the trial against Colin and Dawn Bloom has now ended.

We would like to thank, in particular, Detective Constable Gemma Weeks and her colleagues of the Adult Abuse Investigation Unit (Swaffham), for the considerable amount of time put in over the past year and a half to investigate the alleged offence against our father.

At all times the professionalism of DC Weeks was of the highest order and we are grateful for her diligence and support both during the investigation and during the trial.

We would also like to thank the CPS team and in particular Mr Wilson, the prosecution barrister, for the way he presented the evidence to the jury, his conduct was confident, sincere and understanding of the delicate issues surrounding the later years of our father's life. We are grateful also to the Crown Court Witness Service for their care provided to all the family during the trial.

The jury was meticulous in listening to the evidence and returned a verdict of guilty for Colin Bloom and not guilty for our sister Dawn Bloom, we believe that was the right verdict and we thank them for their diligence.

This verdict in no way diminishes the standard of personal care provided to our father during the last 7 years of his life, this standard of personal care was never in question.

As a family we can now move on from this very difficult time.

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