A THIEF emptied his mother-in-law’s bank account by stealing more than £10,000 by making dozens of cashpoint withdrawals to pay off a private loan.

Scott Randell, 37, of Heol Iago, Fochriw, Caerphilly, knew where her victim kept her debit card and that she stored it with her PIN number.

William Bebb, prosecuting, said: “The victim in this case is the defendant’s mother-in-law.

“Her husband read through a bank statement from their Lloyds account and found the balance to be £127.89 when it should have been £6,000.


“Over three months, cash of between £200 and £300 had been taken from cash machines in Merthyr Tydfil and Fochriw on days and times when the victim had been in work.

“Her husband was too ill to use the cashpoint.

“The defendant soon admitted it was he who taken the money.”

Mr Bebb said £10,555.97 went missing between April 9, 2020 and July 6, 2020.

He told Cardiff Crown Court: “When the defendant voluntarily attended Ystrad Mynach police station, he admitted his guilt.

“He said he had serious debts. He said he had a private loan and started missing payments and the interest quickly doubled.

“The defendant said he was frightened and wanted to use the money to clear his debt.”

Father-of-three Randell pleaded guilty to one count of theft.

He has two previous convictions for offences but none which were relevant.

Paul Hewitt, mitigating, mitigating, said, “The defendant was never going to get away with it and owned up immediately.”

Judge Richard Williams told Randell: “You raided your victim’s bank account.

“The bank has refunded the money. You say your partner’s parents have forgiven you for what you did.

“The pre-sentence report says you lack empathy for them and you protested you had no option.”

Despite this, the judge said he was just about to suspend the sentence.

Randell was jailed for eight months, suspended for 12 months.

He was ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work and complete a 10-day rehabilitation activity requirement.

The defendant is due to face a Proceeds of Crime Act hearing on April 10.

Before Randell left the dock, Judge Williams added: “You can consider yourself to be fortunate walking out of court by the public entrance.”