A grandmother has hit out after a former landlord diverted her pension payments, worth £3,500, into his own bank account.
Victim Eileen Burgess, 81, who is recovering from an operation for pancreatic cancer, wants to name and shame Peter Dickinson, 57, of Tudor House, Church Lane, Farndon.
“I don’t want him to get away scot-free. I think people need to know what kind of person they are dealing with,” said Mrs Burgess. “I feel very cross because I don’t feel I did anything wrong and I’ve had a lot of worry because of it.”
Dickinson was last week sentenced at Chester Crown Court to a six months’ suspended prison sentence and ordered to carry out 150 hours’ unpaid work after being found guilty following a trial of dishonestly making false representation to make gain for himself or another.
Mrs Burgess and husband Edward, 83, used to rent Mr Dickinson’s 16th century Tudor House property in Farndon, which they loved, until he asked them to move out saying he needed to sell up. It was after the couple relocated to their new home in neighbouring Holt that a letter arrived at the old address about the winter fuel allowance, containing Mrs Burgess’ personal details.
He used this information to redirect her state pension and attendance allowance to his own account giving Mrs Burgess a shock when she discovered just £9 in a savings account where she expected to find £3-4,000. Fortunately, the government later compensated her for the fraud but the experience was upsetting.
“I spent three days screaming at Nat West asking where is it?” she said. “I feel complete indifference towards him because I think he’s such a low life to steal an old lady’s pension. I can’t imagine how he thought he would get away with it. It’s stupidly amateurish. He was the landlord of The Farndon at the time and lived in the pub.”
Talking about the sentence, Mrs Burgess, a former florist, whose mobility has been affected by the cancer but who is on the road to recovery, added: “I would like to have seen him sent on a chain gang! I didn’t think he would get sent to prison. At the time I was terribly upset, I really was, sleepless nights, but obviously it’s quite a way down the line now and I’ve had other things to think about.”
Her husband Edward, a former textile business owner in Stockport, who lives with Parkinson’s Disease, said Dickinson’s conduct belied the image he portrayed to the world. “He comes over as being very pleasant, charming, that’s his manner,” he said.
Department for Work and Pensions spokesman Steve Milne said: “Peter Dickinson, of Farndon, Chester, was sentenced on November 26 at Chester Crown Court for the redirection of £3,500 worth of state pension payments, taken from the account of a previous tenant between December 2011 and September 2012.
“He was found guilty following trial and was given a six month prison sentence, suspended for two years, and ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work.”