Advisor jailed after £61k con

Simon Kitchen
Simon Kitchen
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A disgraced independent financial advisor swindled a pensioner, who trusted him like a friend, out of close to £61,000.

Simon Kitchen, 44, was given a 32-month prison sentence at Preston Crown Court yesterday for fraud.

The court heard the reason for his crimes was an attempt to keep a “middle executive” lifestyle for his family when his bonuses were cut.

But the court was also told that four months ago he was sentenced over a separate fraud, involving a similar amount, when he had been employed at Skipton Building Society in St Annes.

Kitchen, of Black Bull Lane, Fulwood, Preston, had been given a suspended sentence for the crime in October, but the same month he sought an interview with the police, to admit more offending.

Kitchen pleaded guilty to four charges of fraud, with the offences taking place over a few months in 2008.

The victim in the latest case was living in the Preston area, but has since died. The judge dealing with the case, Neville Biddle, said it was difficult to envisage a more vulnerable person.

After the man’s partner died, the victim had stayed in their home, caring for her disabled son.

Joseph Allman, prosecuting, said the man trusted the defendant with all his investments. Kitchen visited him in his home and subsequently, in the nursing home he moved into.

He said: “He trusted the defendant implicitly. As his health continued to deteriorate, the defendant would prepare paperwork for him and he would simply sign it.

“He even considered the defendant a friend.”

Kitchen opened a Halifax account, in his own name, to receive funds defrauded from the elderly pensioner.

The sum total in the case was £60,865. He admitted what he had done when interviewed in October.

Stuart Mills, defending, said when the “bubble burst”, his client had been going through a very traumatic time.

“His whole life came crashing down around his ears. He stands in the dock quaking at the thought of what can happen to him,” he added.

“He was providing his family with a lifestyle of a middle executive. He wasn’t driving around in a Rolls Royce.”

The judge, Neville Biddle, told Kitchen: “You have not only brought shame on yourself, but you have undermined the confidence that people have, particularly elderly and vulnerable people, in their independent financial advisor.”