A 25-YEAR-OLD man who found nearly £3,000 had been deposited in his bank account spent it all on his terminally ill father.
Blackburn magistrates heard the money had been "scammed" from a funeral director by someone claiming to represent a debt recovery company.
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But while Scott Francis Sheppherd accepted withdrawing the money from his bank he was adamant he had nothing to do with it being put there.
Shepherd, of New Chapel Street, Blackburn, pleaded guilty to retaining a wrongful credit. He was made subject to a curfew between 8 pm and 4 am for eight weeks and ordered to pay £2,985 compensation to John Duncan.
Tracey Yates, prosecuting, said Mr Duncan was a self-employed funeral director who paid a regular fee to a listing company.
"In January 2015 he received a call from a man asking for a large payment and threatening action if it wasn't made," said Mrs Yates. "He transferred £2,985 into a nominated bank account on direction from a debt company but eventually realised it was a fraudulent transaction. By that time the money had been withdrawn from the account."
Mrs Yates said Shepherd told police he had spent the money on things for his dad's house and that he understood is wasn't his money to take.
Probation officer Pauline Emmet, who prepared a pre-sentence report, said at the time the offence occurred in March the defendant's father was terminally ill.
"He used the money to make his father's life a little more comfortable," said Mrs Emmet. "It has been confirmed that his father died a couple of days before Christmas."
Robin Phoenix, defending, said it was a poor set of circumstances.
"There is no excuse for what he has done but I wonder how many people is his position would have done the same," said Mr Phoenix. "There is no suggestion he was involved in the original scam but he has taken the money and spent it."