To outsiders, Paul Long appeared to be a good Samaritan, helping an elderly and sick man who lived nearby with his shopping and other chores.
But after 81-year-old Derek Johnson died, the truth was discovered. Instead of helping him out of the goodness of his heart, Long had raided his bank account to the tune of £10,540.
He also used his account to obtain payday loans and order goods from various companies. He even used the bank card of the victim’s son Paul to buy items.
Long, of Montgomery Road, South Darenth, denied three fraud offences, but was convicted by a jury at Maidstone Crown Court.
He also denied burgling Mr Johnson’s home in Shrubbery Road, Dartford, and stealing £300 in coins and was acquitted of that charge.
Jailing him for three years, Judge Heather Baucher said: “Any right-minded thinking member of society would be sickened by your actions. What you did was utterly despicable.
"Any right-minded thinking member of society would be sickened by your actions. What you did was utterly despicable" - Judge Heather Baucher
“You befriended a sick 81-year-old man in the latter stages of his life and stole his life savings.”
The judge said the loss to the family was so great that Mr Johnson could not have the funeral they wanted after he died in February, 2014, and had to compromise.
Prosecutor Mark Hunsley said Paul Johnson only stayed with his father intermittently because of his job as a lorry driver.
But when dealing with his father’s financial affairs he noticed a number of matters that caused him alarm.
There should have been about £8,000 in his bank account, but it was empty and had been overdrawn. It had also been used for payday loans which had been withdrawn from the account.
It was discovered that Long, a 51-year-old grandfather, had also used the account to pay his own rent to the housing authority.
He had been visiting Mr Johnson before his health deteriorated. He would take him to the shops and pick up groceries for him.
But he only visited the house when other family members were not there, said Mr Hunsley.
Paul Johnson started receiving letters from companies about loans and credit cards taken out in his father’s name. Goods were ordered that his father would have no use for.
But Long had used his own internet details to make the applications and order the goods.
When arrested, Long denied being responsible and suggested the culprit could be a man called Peter, who he said had used his computer.
Police looked into his claim but could not find anybody who could be Peter.
The court heard Lloyds Bank eventually reimbursed more than £10,000 taken by Long.
He had in 2000 been convicted of theft while a school caretaker.