When news happens, text LT and your photos and videos to 80360. Or contact us by email or phone.
Former Burnley teacher raided stroke victim's bank account
10:00am Saturday 18th August 2012 in Burnley
A RETIRED teacher who raided the bank account of a stroke victim 37 times was branded an 'absolute disgrace' by a judge.
Alan Hiscox, 66, who taught history at St Hilda's RC Girls High School in Burnley, stole £3,350 from the 61-year-old victim he was supposed to be looking after.
Burnley Crown Court heard how Hiscox withdrew cash over 12 months belonging to the woman, who had also suffered a brain haemorrhage as well as two strokes in the past. She had been friends with his partner for 35 years.
Recorder Michael Blakey slammed the defendant's behaviour as an 'absolute disgrace' and said he had clearly taken advantage of the situation.
The judge said: "This was a breach of trust of a vulnerable adult and you knew exactly what you were doing."
Father-of-two Hiscox, of Kirkfell Drive, Burnley, admitted theft, between July 7 2010 and July 6 2011. He was given nine months in jail, suspended for 18 months, with 100 hours unpaid work.
The defendant's partner suffers from motor neurone disease and dementia and the charitable victim was worried about the 'potentially massive impact' on her long-time friend if Hiscox was locked up.
Daniel Thomas, prosecuting, said the victim had been friends with the defendant for about 12 years.
In 2002, after her strokes, she agreed to Hiscox looking after her financial affairs.
The hearing was told the victim became aware of 37 unauthorised withdrawals from her bank account, told her family and the defendant was challenged by her son and daughter.
He denied using the victim's bank card and claimed it must have been cloned.
The defendant later admitted using the bank card four times without the victim's permission.
Mr Thomas said when Hiscox was interviewed by police in August last year he denied the other 33 transactions. The defendant, who had no previous convictions, faced a proceeds of crime hearing.
Mr Hiscox is a leading member of Ighten Mount Bowling Club on Romford Street, where he has held various positions of responsibility.
Defending, Adam Watkins said Hiscox was a 'fundamentally decent and caring man'.
He had undertaken the role of support for the victim with nothing but the best of intentions. In 2010 and 2011, the defendant, who had credit card debts of £5,000 and no savings, succumbed to temptation.
Hiscox, who went on to earn money from gardening after he retired, suffered what was later diagnosed as a heart attack in 2010. He had to stop paid employment, his income was reduced and he had much more time on his hands.