A woman who defrauded her younger brother out of thousands of pounds was told by a crown court judge today (Mon) that she “had betrayed him.”

Defendant Deborah Karen Mills, 46, of Ffordd Dyfrdwy in Mostyn, was jailed for two years.

Her brother was shocked to find his account had been closed and a new one opened in his name without his knowledge.

He believed it should contain about £100,000 – but it had only 80p.

Judge Niclas Parry, sitting at Mold Crown Court, told her: “This is a shocking case of betrayal.

“As defined under legal terms you did indeed breach the trust placed in you by your brother but in fact you betrayed him.”

The judge said that the victim looked up to her as his older sister to help him manage his bank account.

He wished to save and was concerned that if he had control over his money he would spend and not save.

“What in fact happened was that while he worked hard and deposited his monies into his account over a ten year period, you fleeced him.

“You gained, and he lost, at the very least £79,000.

“He is left with nothing.”

Judge Parry said that without her victim’s knowledge, she closed his account and opened another.

She used his money to pay her own debts and to pay retail outlets.

Bizarrely and without explanation from her, she had paid money to the Federal Bureau of Prisons in America.

The matter came to light when it was found that building society payments had not been made and the brother’s property was placed at risk.

His credit rating had clearly been affected.

Judge Parry said that it was sad to read that even then it was only with the greatest reluctance that the victim decided that he had no alternative but to contact the police.

“It is even more sad to read that he never wishes to see you, his sister, again.”

The judge said that the likelihood was that the majority of the money would never be recovered.

He warned that the starting point for such a case was three years but that the sentence could go up to four.

Her greatest mitigation was her late guilty plea.

She had initially denied the offences and the matter set down for trial.

He took into account that she was a lady of good character who understandably was assessed as a low risk of reoffending.

She was a hard working lady.

“But you will understand that this is a very serious matter with far-reaching, serious financial consequences for an equally hard-working younger brother and his family,” the judge said.

The judge set a time-table under The Proceeds of Crime Act to see if any money can be recovered in the future.

Prosecutor Karl Scholz said that the defendant was then years older than her brother Kevin Lee.

When he was in his 20s he asked his sister to look after the bank account so that he could save and he received £400 a month to live on.

For nine years and nine months she received all bank cards and statements and assured him that his mortgage was being paid.

During that period she obtained no less than £79,370.

She closed his account and opened up another in his name.

The defendant used his account as her own, paid her own mortgage from it, paid supermarkets and also made repayments for pay day loans which she took out in his name without his knowledge.

When the victim was alerted to the fact that his mortgage payments had not been met, he found his account had been closed, a new one opened and his balance was 80p – not the £100,000 or so that he had expected.

He and his partner spoke to the defendant who assured them that the money was safe in an ISA.

The defendant wrote out a £139,000 cheque but it was returned unpaid

Arrested and interviewed, she denied any wrong doing.

Mills admitted theft and fraud.

Anna Price, defending, said that Mills was a woman of good character who had worked hard all her life.

She had admitted what she had done, although not at the first opportunity.

Miss Price suggested that a suspended sentence would be appropriate in the circumstances.