A FORMER Gulf War veteran who spent his brother’s entire inheritance on mortgage payments and trips back and forth America has avoided prison.

Michael Evans, who served in the RAF for a decade, appeared before Newport Crown Court yesterday after pleading guilty to fraud by abuse of position.

The court heard that the 52-year-old, of Primrose Court, Cwmbran, had been made a joint executor, with another family member, of his mother’s £100,000-plus estate.

The mother, who died in 2016, made a will that stated three of her grandchildren were to receive £4,000 each, with the remainder of the estate being divided between the defendant and his brother, Mark Evans.

But after Mark Evans contacted one executor to express his concern at not receiving any update on his inheritance, he was informed that “the money had all gone”.

Prosecutor Oliver Harris said: “Linda Davies [an executor] replied initially, saying she thought the defendant had dealt with this some time ago. She got back in contact with Mark to say that she had now contacted the defendant and he informed her the money had all gone.

“On February 6, the defendant phoned Mark Evans to apologise and inform him that probate would be granted in approximately the sum of £48,000--we now know that’s exactly £47,471.”


Mr Harris then told the court that Mr Evans and his children’s inheritance – worth roughly £25,735.50 – had been spent by the defendant on a range of things, including flights to and from the USA.

“The defendant admitted the money had been spent on mortgage payments, rents on properties, and on flights back and forth America where he works,” he said.

“The defendant was then voluntarily interviewed on June 13, where he accepted that he had spent the funds and indicated that, prior to his mother’s passing, he had helped with her care and she had given him full access to her accounts. And in doing that had spent roughly £62,000--but that money had been spent with her knowledge.”

He added: “[The defendant] did give £4,000 to his daughter. The remainder of the sum he spent that in the same way as he spent the £62,000.”

The prosecutor proceeded to read out a victim impact statement from the brother, Mark, which said: “Although this crime is not violent in nature, the impact has had on myself and my family is detrimental.

“Financially I have felt the impact of the loss to my inheritance having been made redundant. I am now activating seek work. The money would have been a safety net for me.”

Mitigating, Hillary Roberts said the defendant had no previous convictions and that he had agreed to pay back the money, before adding: “What he did was disgraceful—he know that’s that.

“He could formalise some sort of mechanism to pay him back.

“He was in the RAF for 10 years and served in the Gulf war.

“He has not been holidaying around the world. The money he has taken has simply been used up in travelling and maintaining three properties. He was struggling financially.”

But Judge Jeremy Jenkins said Mr Evans should “hang his head in shame”.

“It was calculated,” he said.

“It is almost beyond belief. You will have to live with that for the rest of your days.”

The judge added that he was powerless to order the defendant to pay back his brother—but urged him to do so.

He was sentenced to 14 months imprisonment suspended for 18 months, needs to complete 180 hours of unpaid work, and ordered to pay back costs of the hearing and a court surcharge.