CLARIFICATION: An earlier version of this article stated no compensation order has been issued. The Chronicle would like to clarify that Proceeds of Crime Act proceedings have been issued against the below-mentioned defendants. 

A HUSBAND and wife who stole £143,000 from her elderly, vulnerable father’s life savings were spared jail in order to care for their severely disabled daughter.

Tim and Emma Casey, of Shelgate Walk, Woodley, gambled all the money away after the latter was put in charge of managing her father’s only remaining funds.

Reading Crown Court heard how Ms Casey could have been handed a six-year prison sentence had she been found guilty at a trial.

And following an August court hearing the pair were told a prison stay was 'almost inevitable'.

But because she is the primary carer for her youngest child, who has “complex” support needs, and because she admitted to her crime removing the need for a trial, Her Honour Judge Nott let her and her husband walk free.

However, the duo -- who have paid back just £975 since August 2020 -- were told a Proceeds of Crime Act order against them would mean the victim will claw back some money.

READ MORE: Husband and wife told jail sentence 'almost inevitable'

In a victim statement, Ms Casey’s father said: “Shortly after this had come to light, I felt anxious and so let down.

“I did not believe my own daughter could do this to me until she admitted it.


Reading Crown Court

Reading Crown Court


“I started to think life was not worth living anymore.

“One of the few people I adored let me down totally.”

Reading Crown Court heard how the man sold his house in May 2019 in order to pay to live in supported accommodation.

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He gave £10,000 each to his daughters and put Emma Casey, 45, in charge of the remaining money, which was set aside to be used to pay his nursing home fees.

But alongside her husband Tim Casey, 52, she abused her position as Power of Attorney and started funnelling the cash into her own bank account.

The pair spent all the money gambling and just five months later, in October 2019, the pair had drained the man’s funds to such an extent that there was not enough cash left to buy a £1,200 wheelchair he needed.

It was in February 2020 that staff at the elderly man’s accommodation noticed he was short on funds to pay for his support.


Reading Crown Court.

Reading Crown Court.


Wokingham Borough Council spoke to Tim and Emma Casey and then reported them to police and they were arrested shortly afterwards.

Prosecuting, Stephen Donnelly said the spending of around £143,000 on gambling websites in less than a year made it “clear they both had a gambling habit way beyond their control.”

Mr Donnelly indicated the duo had been paying back £75 a month to the elderly man -- a sum that was “nowhere near equate to the costs of his nursing home.”

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Defending for Emma Casey, Clare Evans said her client was “sorry” and that she did not have “any excuse or reason for why or how this happened.”

Ms Evans’ case for Ms Casey mentioned difficulties the defendant had in her relationship with her mother, but Judge Nott stopped the barrister in her tracks to say “it is a bit much to steal £143,000 from your father and blame your mother.”

The defence counsel continued and told the court it was “almost impossible” for Ms Casey to “understand how she allowed herself to go that far and behave that badly.”

She added: “She has the special guilt of the special child. She didn’t ask to be Power of Attorney, she was picked.

“It was only her who was really there for her father and [...] she loved him.”

Ms Evans told the court about Ms Casey’s role as a carer for her young daughter, who has “complex” special educational needs.

This issue, combined with a “strong chance of rehabilitation” and traumatic incidents in her personal life led to Ms Evans urging Judge Nott to pass a suspended sentence.

Daniel O’Donoghue, defending for Tim Casey, also proposed a suspended sentence for the HGV driver.

He said: “The reality of this case is that any immediate custodial sentence will have a profound effect on the family.

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“She [the daughter] is so vulnerable that caring for her is a two-person job.

“She will likely be taken far away from where they live and the damage would be irreparable.”

Sentencing, Her Honour Judge Nott appeared to rub her head and repeatedly sigh as she made a judgement on the Caseys’ fate.

She said: “What is exceptional in this case is the high level of need of your daughter. It is clear she has very complex special needs.

“For whatever your lack of care surrounding your father, the care from each of you regarding your child cannot be faulted.

“Sheer humanity requires me not only to take into account the interests of the child but to ensure the support for a child of parents at risk of a custodial sentence.”

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Judge Nott said she had received correspondence from Wokingham Borough Council indicating the girl could be taken as far away as Derby if her parents were to be jailed.

She continued: “It is really for her rather than you two that I am going to take an exceptional route.”

The Judge decided against jailing the duo and told Emma Casey she could have expected a six-year prison stint if she had been found guilty at trial, but because of the needs of her child, she slashed this figure in half.

She then took another year off as Ms Casey admitted to her offending at the first opportunity, enabling her to give the 45-year-old a two-year prison sentence suspended for 18 months.

Tim Casey received the same sentence and both Woodley residents were ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work.

The Caseys were sentenced for fraud by abuse of position at Reading Crown Court on Tuesday, October 5.

They remained silent as they were confronted by family members after they left the courtroom.

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