Betrayal: 20-year-old conned hundreds of pounds out of his own great-grandparents
A COUPLE were conned out of hundreds of pounds by their own great-grandson.
Daniel Higham was yesterday banned from contacting his devastated great-grandparents, Randolph and Winifred Godding, after he had earlier pleaded guilty to stealing almost £1,000 of their money at Bolton Magistrates’ Court.
The 20-year-old, who had been given a place to stay by Mr and Mrs Godding because he was desperate, stole their credit card and used it to take money out of cashpoints to buy clothes and a mobile phone.
Higham, who pleaded guilty to three counts of fraud by false representation, also used the money to buy drugs, alcohol and to pay off drug debts.
Now the couple say they want nothing more to do with him.
His heartbroken great-grandfather, Mr Godding, aged 78, of Central Avenue, Farnworth, said: “I was really proud of Daniel years ago and I still have photos of him but he has really let me down. I was really disheartened when I found out what he had done, it really shook me up. He is no great-grandson of mine now, I don’t want to know him.
“When I was in the bank and found out what had happened I couldn’t get my breath. They wanted to call an ambulance for me.”
Higham, who had no previous convictions, was also sentenced to a 12-month jail term, suspended for a year, and ordered to complete a six-month drug rehabilitation requirement and a 12-month supervision requirement.
Prosecutor Steve Woodman told the court that it was while Higham was staying at his great-grandparent’s home he managed to gain access to a safe in a room he was staying in.
He took the credit card belonging to Mrs Godding, aged 79, who suffers from dementia, along with the pin code.
He spent £628 with the card via ATM transactions, £61.75 on clothing and £255 on a mobile phone between November 18 and 20, as well as spending money on drugs, alcohol and drug debts.
Bolton Magistrates’ Court heard Higham, of Lumsden Street, Great Lever, said he was ashamed of his actions.
The court heard he committed the crimes because he used cocaine, which he started taking 18 months ago.
Higham works full-time at Aldi in Trinity Street, Bolton.
He had once planned to join the Armed Forces after doing a flying scholarship but changed his plans when he met his current girlfriend.
Chairman of the bench Sandra Whittle, sentencing, said: “This is an utterly disgraceful course of conduct. Your great-grandparents, concerned for your safety and well-being, opened their home to you and gave you place to stay and you repaid them by acting like this.
“You did not start your criminal conduct in a small way, you went and committed a series of serious offences.”
Mr Godding, a retired factory engineer, added: “I am so anti-drugs and I will not tolerate my family bringing the police and crime to my home.
“I have been honest all of my life. Daniel hasn’t apologised but I don’t want him to.
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“I can’t trust him now. He had a lot going for him but he has let it all go. He was a clever lad, he used to be in a band and everything.”
Higham was also ordered to pay £85 court costs and an £80 victim surcharge.
A restraining order was also placed banning him from contacting his great-grandparents for two years.
The couple were reimbursed for their losses by their bank.