A callous daughter stole £60,000 from her frail mother’s bank account and blew the lot on luxury holidays around the world as the Alzheimer’s suffer lay dying in a care home.
Cruel Anne Bissell, 60, was granted power of attorney and ‘looked after’ after her mum Beryl Beames’ finances when she was taken into care.
But she plundered the account and blew the cash on a champagne lifestyle of exotic family holidays to America, Africa and France.
She also used the money to go to international rugby matches, Center Parcs and day trips in the UK.
Bissell was due to stand trial accused of stealing a staggering £146,000, but changed her plea and admitted taking £60,000 between August 2006 and July last year.
The scam emerged after her mother’s death in 2008, when Bissell’s sister Gail Hunter – who had joint access to their mum’s account – realised it was overdrawn.
Bissell, of Longwell Green, Bristol, travelled to Texas and New York, as well as Tunisia, France, and extensively throughout the UK.
She went on the lavish trips as her mother, who was frail and in her 80s, lay dying in a care home in Chippenham, Wilts.
Yesterday Gail, 58, an MoD worker from Fareham, Hamps., slammed her ‘despicable’ sister, who she has since disowned.
She said: ”My mum and dad are dead and now I’ve only got my husband, children and his family.
”She went to Texas and New York while my mum was lying on her death bed, after taking money from her account.
”Mum had Alzheimer’s, she was a frail old lady.
”She was really frugal and she used to know exactly how much she had, down to the last penny.
”When she died she was £5,000 overdrawn. On the day she died £158 was spent in Tesco, on her ATM card, and later that week £60 on a trip to see Welsh rugby.”
Bissell was given joint power of attorney with her younger sister Gail in 2006 after their mum was taken into care.
But Bissell took the lead and the pair agreed she would manage her finances, including her building society account.
After their mother’s death, Gail asked about the money and was told there was a problem with the account which had caused a four-month delay in getting the cash.
But when she contacted Britannia building society, it emerged the account had been plundered and had not even been informed of their mother’s death.
Furious gail confronted her sister and contacted police after she told her she had done nothing.
Bissell was due to stand trial at Bristol Crown Court on Tuesday but changed her plea at the last minute.
Mum-of-two Gail added: ”When she died my sister told me mum left £55,000. There was a problem with the building society and there would be a three to four-month wait for the money.
”I believed her, she never gave me any reason not to trust her.
”When I rang Britannia building society about my mum’s money they didn’t know what I was taking about.”
Gail approached her sister after Tuesday’s court hearing but Bissell claimed their mum had voluntarily handed over the cash.
She said: ”I was going to build a bridge today. As soon as she said she had done nothing wrong and mum gave her the money, that was it.
”I feel now that she’s admitted it in court there’s justice for mum.
”I just want her to admit what she’s done to me. You can’t steal from your mother.
”My mum was a very smart, proud, independent lady who worked all her life as a shop assistant.
”Dad joined the RAF in 1947 and we ended up in Colerne, Lyneham and then Chippenham.
”Mum liked everything, from reading and opera to her cross-bred setter dog Benji, who was like her baby.”
The court heard that Bissell had paid back £20,000 and a proceeds of crime hearing was scheduled for next year.
Bissell was bailed and will be sentenced at Bristol Crown Court next month.