A fraudster said nothing when his deceased mother's £630 a month pension continued to be paid into his bank account because he wanted to make improvements to his home.
Carpenter Graham Tomlinson, 65, of Fairby Grange Cottages, Ash Road, Hartley, Longfield, Kent pocketed nearly £8,300 until Logica, who managed the Metropolitan Police Pension, realised what was going on and demanded the money back.
The first-time offender pleaded guilty fraud by failing to disclose information between March 1, 2012 and March 12, last year and was conditionally discharged for two years and ordered to pay £340 costs.
Prosecutor Miss Shazia Ahmed told Croydon Crown Court the pension was paid into a joint account Tomlinson held with his mother and continued after she passed away.
Her death was not reported, which would have ended the pension payments, and the company did not discover the true position for a year.
Logica's first three letters on the subject were ignored and after they received no reply to a fourth recorded delivery letter they call in the police.
When Tomlinson was arrested he confessed everything to the officers.
“He told them he had a breakdown after his mother died and was in financial difficulties,” explained Miss Ahmed.
“He said it took six months for him to realise the money was being paid into the account and he needed it for work done on the house.”
At that stage Tomlinson was given a chance to repay the money, but failed to do so.
It has now been repaid in full.
His lawyer Mr. David Claxton told the court: “He nursed his mother through her illness up until her death. Mr. Tomlinson has angina and high blood pressure.”
Judge John Tanzer told Tomlinson: “Basically you let matters run and you shouldn't have.
“People turn a blind eye. Things were left to carry on running and he buried his head in the sand.”