Hobart man stole $282k from elderly mother

Ethan James

A Hobart man who stole almost $282,000 from his sick elderly mother, leaving her without money to pay for nursing home care, has been jailed.

Ronald Peter Walker, 71, transferred money to bank accounts belonging to himself and his two children after being granted power of attorney of his widowed mother Rena's estate in June 2009.

"Some was wasted on trivialities and luxury domestic items, but he offered no explanation for how the rest was spent," Justice Robert Pearce said in sentencing at Hobart Supreme Court this week.

"The money was not his but he used it as his own. It has all gone."

The court heard Walker had transferred $105,000 out of his mother's account by the time she moved into a nursing home in July 2009.

She was suffering from dementia and was unable to manage her own affairs.

About two months after Rena moved into the nursing home, her Berriedale home was sold, with $189,586 in proceeds paid into a bank account opened by Walker in his mother's name.

"It meant that by March 2012 ... there was not enough of her money left to meet the cost of her nursing home care," Justice Pearce said of the fraud.

When a representative of the nursing home raised the matter with Walker he said there was no money left in either of two bank accounts because his mother "gave most of it to us".

Rena died in March 2014 aged 95.

The court heard Walker had also taken his sister's inheritance, likely to be more than $100,000.

Walker was sentenced to two years and eight months' jail and will be eligible for parole after half that time.

He had earlier pleaded guilty to 112 counts of fraudulently dealing with trust property.

Walker has been ordered to pay back $281,962 to his mother's estate.