‘De­spi­ca­bly greedy’ care home boss stole mil­lions from rich pen­sion­ers

Belfast Telegraph - - NEWS - BY ELEANOR BARLOW

A “MORALLY bank­rupt” care home owner who took mil­lions of pounds from wealthy pen­sion­ers has been sent to jail for 21 years.

David Bar­ton (64), was sen­tenced at Liver­pool Crown Court yes­ter­day for what Judge Steven Everett de­scribed as the “most brazen” case of fraud he had ever seen.

Bar­ton (left) was found guilty of four counts of con­spir­acy to de­fraud, one count of fraud, three counts of theft, false ac­count­ing and trans­fer­ring crim­i­nal prop­erty af­ter a trial which lasted a year.

Care home man­ager Rose­mary Booth (69) was jailed for six years for three counts of con­spir­acy to de­fraud for her part in his scheme.

The court, with a pub­lic gallery full of friends and fam­ily of vic­tims and defendants, heard that be­tween 1997 and 2013 Bar­ton had taken more than £4m dis­hon­estly from his vic­tims, who were wealthy, el­derly res­i­dents at the Bar­ton Park Nurs­ing Home in South­port, and had tried to claim a fur­ther £10m.

Judge Steven Everett said: “I am strug­gling to re­mem­ber any­one as dis­hon­est as him, as morally bank­rupt as him.”

Sen­tenc­ing Bar­ton, he said: “You are a de­spi­ca­bly greedy man, a hyp­ocrite who claimed you were car­ing for the res­i­dents.

“I’m quite sure the per­son you cared for the most is no one but yourself, not even your fam­ily, with your in­sa­tiable ap­petite for fancy cars and building your prop­erty em­pire.”

Ben­jamin My­ers QC, pros­e­cut­ing, told the two-day sen­tenc­ing hear­ing that Bar­ton groomed “wealthy, vul­ner­a­ble and child- less” res­i­dents be­fore drain­ing their bank ac­counts and be­com­ing a ben­e­fi­ciary in their wills.

Among his vic­tims was Pa­tri­cia Anderson Scott, the widow of for­mer Ever­ton FC chair­man Bill Scott, who had £1.4m taken from her.

Wel­com­ing the sen­tence, De­tec­tive Inspector Jon Smith said: “For 16 years, they preyed upon wealthy el­derly peo­ple, bleed­ing them of their hard-earned sav­ings and en­joy­ing a lav­ish lifestyle of fast cars, hol­i­days and mul­ti­ple prop­er­ties.”

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