A granddaughter plundered more than £24,000 from her frail nan’s bank account to "fund her lifestyle", jurors have heard.
Amanda Farr is said to have siphoned the huge sums of money into her own accounts across almost two years, spending some of the cash on takeaways and iTunes.
The 47-year-old, formerly of Whitstable, is on trial at Canterbury Crown Court, where details of the alleged fraud have been revealed.
Prosecutor Kieran Brand said during the trial's opening: "She siphoned thousands of pounds from the bank account of her 91-year-old grandmother into her own bank accounts, then used the money to fund her own lifestyle.
“The defendant dishonestly transferred funds belonging to Mrs Hutchings to the tune of £24,069 into her own accounts without authority to do so."
The prosecutor told the jury that, after being charged, Farr then bullied her daughter into providing a false statement to her solicitors "in an effort to pervert the course of justice".
Farr took over Joyce Hutchings’ finances when the pensioner's health rapidly deteriorated in 2017.
She was tasked with managing her nan’s payments towards the upkeep of their Whitstable home, which they shared with other family members.
But Farr reportedly skimmed £24,069 from Ms Hutchings’ account through more than 130 payments from December 2017 to September 2019.
The prosecution told jurors on Monday that Farr's alleged scam pushed Mrs Hutchings into debt worth £3,672 with EDF energy, with the firm planning to execute a warrant on her address.
“There was no set day of the month when transfers occurred between the accounts, but a lot of transfers appear to take place when the defendant's account would get relatively low on funds,” Mr Brand added.
He told jurors Farr allegedly used a criminal technique dubbed “layering” in an attempt to hide the money.
"When her offending came to light and she was charged, she strong-armed her daughter into providing a false statement to her solicitors..."
It consisted of flooding her Lloyds bank current and savings accounts with rapid transfers, to blur the lines between legally and criminally held cash.
But details of the alleged scam unfolded when Mrs Hutchings suffered a series of falls and required hospital treatment.
While visiting, her son Ronald Hutchings noticed her savings book had been left blank since March and her bank card had expired.
When Mr Hutchings phoned Nationwide he was told his mother’s bank accounts were overdrawn and “there was also no trace of a £1,000 deposit which had been bequeathed to Joyce by a late friend,” Mr Brand said.
It emerged tens of thousands of pounds had been transferred to Farr’s account via online banking, which Mrs Hutchings was unable to use, the prosecutor said.
Farr spent some of the cash on iTunes and takeaway restaurants, alongside making cash withdrawals.
When police searched Farr’s bedroom in 2019 officers discovered “a large number of letters” addressed to Mrs Hutchings from EDF, South East Water, the NHS, TV Licensing, with an outstanding energy bill of about £3,500.
“This, we suggest, is a clear indication that the defendant had been intercepting Joyce’s post,” Mr Brand said.
Jurors were shown a police interview of detectives speaking to Mrs Hutchings where she clearly stated Farr did not have permission to take the cash.
Following her arrest, Farr bullied her daughter Ellie Sherville into perverting the course of justice, the prosecutor claimed.
She reportedly “drilled” threats into Miss Sherville, who is in her early 20s, and ordered her to lie to the police and lawyers.
“The defendant told her to say that Joyce was the person spending the money, going to shops like CEX and Tesco, and that the defendant hadn't done anything wrong,” Mr Brand said.
Farr, now of Windham Avenue, Croydon, denies fraud and perverting the course of justice.
She is expected to argue she made the financial transfers with her grandmother’s permission, while her daughter was not forced to give a statement to the police or lawyers.