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Mother sentenced for theft of her daughter's personal health budget

|News, Fraud and economic crime

A mother has been sentenced today (20 May 2021) for stealing money intended to pay for care for her disabled daughter.

Helen Maher at Chester Crown Court has been sentenced to 12 months' imprisonment, suspended for 18 months.

Maher’s adult daughter, who has Spina Bifida and is not able to handle her own finances, was paid a Personal Health Budget (PHB) to support her health and wellbeing from a Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).

The CPS presented banking evidence showing payments of £73,106.97 were paid into the defendant’s bank account between 3 May 2017 and 16 April 2019, intended to be spent on her daughter’s care. The money was moved into different bank accounts under the defendant’s control and evidence showed that Maher spent the money on gambling, foreign holidays and household bills.

Maher admitted theft of the money when interviewed by NHS investigators.

Natalie Cassidy of the CPS said: “Helen Maher was entrusted by community services to properly manage the finances of her adult daughter who needed support because of her condition.

“Instead of spending money on care for her daughter, Maher spent £73,106.97 on foreign holidays, gambling and household bills. Her theft deprived her daughter of much-needed funds but ultimately cost the taxpayer.

“The CPS worked closely with NHS investigators to examine the extent of the theft committed by Maher and we are pleased she has now been brought to justice.”

The CPS is committed to securing justice in cases involving dishonest conduct where there is harm or loss for vulnerable victims, as well as to the taxpayer and public finances.

Notes to editors

  • Natalie Cassidy is a senior crown prosecutor for the CPS Specialist Fraud Division.
  • The Specialist Fraud Division is a dedicated CPS team playing a leading role in the fight against serious and complex economic crime and the financial exploitation of the public, using specialist legal expertise to deliver justice.
  • Read the CPS Economic Crime Strategy 2025
  • Helen Maher (DOB: 27/10/69) was sentenced to 12 months' imprisonment, suspended for 18 months, 25 days rehabilitation order, pay compensation of £6,000 at the rate of £300 per month, at Chester Crown Court.

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