A GREEDY carer who defaulted on his court-ordered repayments has had his jail sentences extended.

Michael Terry, 63, from East Sussex, had his original prison sentence extended after failing to pay confiscation orders he had been ordered to repay under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Specialist financial investigators became involved after he refused to pay back the money he had gained from criminal activity.

Terry, formerly of Lynchet Close, Brighton, was jailed following a Sussex Police investigation which found he had defrauded Margaret Cullen at her home in Elm Grove.

He had befriended her over eight years. He had successfully applied to be her Power of Attorney, giving him authority over her financial affairs

But rather than acting in her interest, Terry sold the octogenarian’s home, then put her in a dingy flat that was being used as a drug den. At the same time, he took money from her bank account for himself and his family members, spending it on premium bonds, bottles of vodka and even a new car.

He claimed he was acting as her carer, but at Hove Crown Court it was revealed Mrs Cullen was found in a soiled single bed.

Judge Paul Tain jailed him for three years for fraud and said Terry had shown a “total lack of integrity” while acting as Mrs Cullen’s power of attorney.

Nicholas Hamblin, prosecuting, said Terry’s association with Mrs Cullen started around 2010. He said £125,000 was unaccounted for.

Mrs Cullen’s only daughter suffers from a disability and is also in a care home. Between 2012 and 2015, Terry even managed to get Mrs Cullen to change her will so that only £15,000 from her estate would go to her daughter following a £285,000 house sale.

The case came to light when Terry Hughes, the son of Terry, was arrested on suspicion of drugs offences at a flat in Arundel Street in Brighton. Inside the property, police found it littered with beer cans, vodka bottles and drug packets. In a back room, they found Mrs Cullen alone.

When police arrived, Kay was swigging from a can of beer while Mrs Cullen lay in her own filth. Michael Terry’s wife Nicola also benefited from the fraud, the court heard.

Mr Hamblin said: “Clearly we say that the cash spent was not going to be used and was not necessary for a totally bed-bound lady living in the squalor she was in. This is a situation of fraud, through an abuse of position of trust and responsibility over a sustained period of many years. It took a significant degree of planning. Terry deliberately targeted the victim.”

The court heard Mrs Cullen was moved from the flat into a care home after police found her in April 2015. She died in 2017, aged 86.

Michael Morris, defending, said the actual amount defrauded was closer to £50,000 and said his client disputed many of the facts, despite admitting his guilt.

Terry was originally sentenced to three years’ in jail at Hove Crown Court on July 2 and ordered to comply with a confiscation order for £97,843, to be paid within three months.

After failing to repay the total amount, his sentenced was extended by 12 months at a Lewes Crown Court hearing on October 25.