Mum pretended she was 88-year-old's friend but the reality was very different

Shan Williams leaves court in Liverpool today -Credit:Liverpool Echo
Shan Williams leaves court in Liverpool today -Credit:Liverpool Echo

A mum befriended a vulnerable elderly woman and stole £1,500 from her to fund her gambling addiction.

Shan Williams, of Queen Street, Tranmere, met the 88-year-old woman through a relative who lived in the same sheltered accommodation in Bedford Court, Rock Ferry. Liverpool Crown Court heard today, May 1, that during visits to the accommodation, Williams had become friendly with the victim and had built a relationship with her.

The 42-year-old was soon entrusted with the elderly woman's bank details in order to carry out odd jobs, including her shopping. In November 2021 Williams had used the victim's account to set up online banking, despite the fact she had used cash her whole life.

Read more: Wally Scott dies as friend and Merseyside radio legend Billy Butler pays tribute

Read more: Man fighting for life after 'vicious assault' in city centre

Eventually, Williams began using the online account to fund her gambling addiction and, over time, stole around £1,500. Over the course of one year, 137 separate transactions were taken from the account for online gambling.

It was only when the victim had a fall that assigned carers came in to look after her and noticed something was wrong. The court heard that carers reported the victim was lacking food and money and had been nearing her overdraft.

The carers' concerns lead to an investigation and Williams was arrested on July 8. Williams returned the card to its owner at this time.

The court heard how the mum not only struggled with a gambling addiction, but battled a traumatic childhood and young adulthood and abused drink and drugs.

Shan Williams leaves court in Liverpool today -Credit:Liverpool Echo
Shan Williams leaves court in Liverpool today -Credit:Liverpool Echo

Judge David Potter, sentencing, told Williams: "To fund your gambling you developed a close relationship with the became friendly with the victim. who used cash throughout her life and with her bank card you set up an online banking account.

"You were not her carer, it was an agreement that you had with her that you would help her do jobs such as shopping...concerns were raised about the lack of essentials in her flat which resulted in an returned her bank card but it was too late to undo the damage that was done. You were using her money to fund your habit.

"You left a vulnerable person exposed to finance embarrassment."

Williams was handed an 18-month suspended sentence, 12 sessions of counselling and 80 hours of unpaid work to be completed within 12 months.

Don't miss the biggest and breaking stories by signing up to the Echo Daily newsletter here