A GRANDMOTHER who stole £150,000 from a “vulnerable” cousin with cerebral palsy has walked free from court.

Wendy Davies, 76, from Heyope, near Knighton, was facing a five-year jail sentence for “milking” her relative’s bank accounts and treating his money as her own.

But she was given a two-year suspended sentence because of her age, her clean character and the fact that the offences were historic.

The court heard her victim John Pugh, 66, has no understanding of what has happened and still holds Davies in high regard.

Judge Richard Twomlow told Davies: “You were in a position of trust for your relative.

“But there was overwhelming evidence that you milked his bank accounts and you have not shown a shred of remorse.

“In effect for a long time you treated his money as your own and spent it for your own benefit.”

Davies treated herself to clothes from expensive fashion shops and a trip to Paris while she controlled the finances of Mr Pugh, who lives in supported accommodation.

She spent £56,000 of his money at a local supermarket between 2006 and 2010 and used some of the cash to improve the driveway of her home in Heyope.

The Court of Protection had appointed Davies to manage the affairs of Mr Pugh who has no concept of financial matters. She was relieved of the responsibility in 2010.

Davies denied theft and dishonestly abusing a position of trust but was found guilty at Merthyr Tydfil Crown Court earlier this month.

She claimed the money was spent caring for her cousin including regular visits to her home and petrol to ferry him around.

Judge Twomlow said: “An unusual factor is that the victim is not aware of the fraud or the ill effects against him.

“He still regards the defendant very well and sees her regularly as part of his family.”

Turning to Davies he said: “You are of good excellent character - you have lost your good name in very public circumstances which must be a blow to you.

“The offences were not sophisticated I don’t think you entered the position of trust to defraud John Pugh.

“But you treated his money as your own.”

The judge said the delay in proceedings was due to the Crown Prosecution Service failing to act “when it should have done some years ago”.

He concluded: “I am stepping outside the guidelines in your favour and I’ve decided, with some hesitation, that I can suspend the sentence.”

Davies showed no emotion and was hugged by relatives as she left the court.

The court heard Davies risks losing her home after a Proceeds of Crime Hearing is held next month.