A 'despicable' Sheffield mum, who stole over £48,000 from her son's trust fund before he was able to inherit it, has been jailed for more than two years.
Sheffield Crown Court was told how after the father of Mandy Carmody's young son died, a sizable trust fund comprised of his pension contributions was set-up in the boy's name.
The money was split across a number of investments, in order to allow the money to mature while the boy grew up.
Prosecuting, Ian Goldsack, told the court how Carmody, aged 46, got the trustees of her son's investments, including his grandparents, to sign documentation she had written which subsequently allowed her access to the investments.
He said: "She would take him to trustees addresses to get their signatures on documents she had prepared.
Mr Goldsack explained how this took place after Carmody's son began discussing how he would go about obtaining the money due to him from his investments, ahead of him becoming eligible to receive the money when he turned 18 in June 2012.
"The monies were moved from the several investments into accounts in her name," he added.
Between May 2012 and November 2013 Carmody, of Carr Lane, Dronfield stole a total of 48,308.55 from her son's trust fund, the court was told.
Mr Goldsack said Carmody gave her son 'various excuses' about where the money was, and he eventually went to the police in 2014, by which time most of his money had gone.
But far from being contrite, when Carmody was interviewed by the police she provided false accounts of where the money had gone.
Mr Goldsack said Carmody claimed she had given her son the tens of thousands of pounds owed to him and he had 'frittered it away' on expensive presents such as jewelry and lingerie for his girlfriends. She also claimed his girlfriends had been given access to the accounts, and that they had stolen money from him.
She eventually admitted to the offences during a plea hearing last November, when she pleaded guilty to four counts of theft.
Carmody was also convicted of stealing from her employee in 1993, the court heard.
Through a victim impact statement read out in court, Carmody's son explained how he had been left devastated by her deception, and that his relationships with his friends, family and girlfriends had been impacted because he was unable to 'trust people like I should'.
"Your mum is someone you should be able to trust, " said the young man, adding: "I feel like she's stolen my future, both in terms of the money and also in terms of the relationship I should have with her. She'll miss out on milestones like me getting married."
Carmody's son said her deception had also affected his relationships with his younger sisters, as a result of lies she had told them concerning the circumstances of the stolen money.
He added his relationship with them had begun to improve since Carmody was remanded into custody in October last year.
Mr Goldsack told the court that the young man had hoped to use the money for a deposit a flat and to buy himself a car and a games console.
The total amount of money the Crown Prosecution Service said the total amount they believed they would be able to seize from Carmody's assets was £2,800, which is the estimated value of a Ford S-Max car she had brought herself with the stolen money.
That is the total amount of money due back to Carmody's son at this time, but further proceeds of crime proceedings are due to take place.
Defending, Edward Moss, said: "She is finally on her way to understanding that these are despicable crimes."
He added that she has suffered with post-traumatic stress disorder and depression since 1998 as a result of domestic abuse she had suffered, and that this offending may have been 'triggered' by a recent incident.
Mr Moss said Carmody hoped to repair her relationships with her family and her son after being released from prison.
Judge Graham Reeds QC sentenced Carmody to 30 months in prison.
He told her: "A custodial sentence is the only option because of the seriousness of what you did, and the breach of trust that was involved."