A Sleights man who plundered his elder brother’s bank accounts to the tune of £69,000 to fund his own lifestyle has escaped an immediate jail sentence.
The Recorder of York, Judge Stephen Ashurst, decided that Stephen Paul Exelby, who has had prostate and larynx cancer and back and knee problems, had already suffered considerably.
And, he added, the theft of the money would have serious future financial implications for Exelby, his wife and two daughters, as the family home would have to be sold to repay his brother.
Jessica Savage, prosecuting told how Ian Exelby, who suffers from a form of dementia brought about by alcohol abuse, is resident in a care home and the defendant was in charge of his finances.
Exelby, of Birch Avenue, who handed himself in this year and admitted what he had done, started “borrowing” money from the accounts after being made redundant to pay his mortgage and credit card bills.
Describing the offence as a high degree of breach of trust, Miss Savage said Exelby (59) still faces an investigation under the Proceeds of Crime Act, his share of the equity from the sale of the family home expected to almost or totally cover the amount taken over a four year period.
Exelby, 59, appeared before York Crown Court for sentencing having previously pleaded guilty to a charge of theft.
Mitigating, Glenn Parsons told court his client had been an honest, hard-working family who had not deliberately set out to be wicked or dishonest but after finding himself out of work, in debt and with a house which needed renovating, Exelby intended to “borrow” enough money from the accounts to do the work, sell the house and put the money back.
The court heard Exelby was in need of more medical treatment and this would be more difficult if he was in prison.
He also had to live with the shame of what he had done.
Agreeing to this, Judge Ashurst said it may appear Exelby was “walking free” but he was satisfied that Exelby had for many years been at a low ebb, both physically and mentally.
He addd that in “humanity and mercy” the 15 month sentence he was passing on Exelby would be suspended for two years and placed under supervision for 12 months.