Sharon Haran was ‘manipulated’ by callous crook Bradley David Young after she handed him control over the finances of her firm Platinum Care at Home.
Within weeks of bagging the position in February 2018, the greedy fraudster had already started ruthlessly plundering the accounts to fund his own ‘lavish lifestyle’, spending thousands on luxury sports cars, first-class holidays, drugs and parties.
Unbeknownst to his 58-year-old aunt, Young had been arrested just days earlier for stealing £43,000 from his previous employer – a crime he later received a 12-month suspended sentence for in March 2020.
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Incredibly, the 24-year-old charlatan managed to lie his way out of trouble – albeit temporarily – as he convinced his aunt his court appearances were ‘nothing to be worried about’.
Despite dodging jail for his first crime, Young continued his second fraud, siphoning thousands of pounds from the Waterlooville-based company’s funds until he was eventually caught in July 2020.
‘Web of deceit’
But so convincing was his web of deceit, his lies made Mrs Haran question her own memory to such a degree she undertook a dementia test, Portsmouth Crown Court heard.
The cheating ‘rat’ has since been jailed for six years. But it is a crime his aunt told the court has left her traumatised, spending £55 on regular counselling, diagnosed with depression and now unable to trust anyone.
In a victim impact statement read in court by her daughter Michelle Young – revealed for the first time today – Mrs Haran said: ‘Bradley was like a son to me and I trusted him with everything I had. When I found out Bradley was stealing from me my world fell apart.
‘Bradley does not know the damage and heartbreak he has caused me and our family.
‘Bradley has destroyed me and broken me as a person. He has lied and manipulated me. I would have given Bradley anything and he knew that.
‘He played on my vulnerability with my husband being out of the country and yet took full advantage of me.
‘I trusted Bradley and he stole that trust. Bradley has shown no remorse at all for what he has done.’
A ruthless campaign of fraud and lies
The court heard how Young, of Forest End, Waterlooville, had started his campaign of abuse first by stealing £12,900 between 2018 and 2019.
Emboldened by his success, he ramped up his thefts, pilfering more than £62,500 from the company’s account between the following year before ending his spree in 2020 stealing in excess of £97,000. In all, Young stole £173,183, with the total fraud costing his aunt £191,319.44p.
It took more than a year for a DBS check to finally come back on Young, which showed he was under investigation for fraud at his former company, AD Williams in Emsworth.
But Prosecutor Charles Gabb said Young had concocted a ‘lying and deceiving story’ and claimed his departure was nothing more than a ‘misunderstanding’.
He added when Young was called back to the magistrates court in Portsmouth and later the city’s crown court on January 28, 2020, he ‘turned on the water works’ and said his appointment with a judge was ‘just a mistake’.
‘He knew the emotional strings to pull and how to deal with his aunt,’ said Mr Gabb.
Then, a news story about Young being sentenced was spotted by his cousin Michelle Young, in March, 2020, which sent ‘alarm bells ringing’ and prompted Mrs Haran to demote her nephew, Mr Gabb added.
He added: ‘She had been lied to repeatedly to her face with absolutely barefaced lies and she believed it.’
Fraudster ‘drained the lifeblood’ out of his family’s company
Speaking on behalf of the family, Judge William Ashworth demanded to know why the crook stole from his own flesh and blood.
‘What they are struggling to cope with and understand is why or how you felt that you could share the same table as them and their house whilst at the same time you were draining the lifeblood of their company,’ said Judge William Ashworth.
Wearing a black suit and tie, Young responded: ‘I can’t apologise enough for what I have done. My life was in a downward spiral and had gone out of control. I was seriously addicted to drugs. It got to the stage where I didn't realise what I was doing to other people.
‘She was the last person I should have done this to. But I needed to get this money to control that downward spiral.’
But the judge refused to believe the fraudster’s excuse. Jailing him for six years, he said: ‘You are somebody who wishes that they were a success, but you’re not, so you ripped the heart out of a company just so you could live good.
The impact on them of what seems to be a relentless, utterly remorseless, cold and cruel campaign is that they are devastated.’