The thief bought a house in his retired father’s name and left him all the debt

A con artist who stole hundreds of thousands of dollars from his family left his father struggling with a mortgage he didn’t apply for when he began his retirement.

Clare Roughley subjected her parents, grandparents and even a woman in her care to a despicable campaign of theft for several years. The former bank worker was jailed in October after she admitted using her insider knowledge to steal £325,000 from those who were believed to trust her.

She set up online access to the accounts of her father, Raymond Roughley, her mother, Delyn Roughley, and her nan, Theresa Leyland. For several years, she used up all of her savings to fund her growing gambling addiction, as well as to steal thousands of dollars from a woman she was caring for.

READ MORE:Caregiver stole £325,000 from family, including grandmother, to fund gambling addiction

Today the 40-year-old was back before a judge at Liverpool Crown Court to be convicted of mortgage fraud committed during the same period. Peter Hussey, prosecuting, told the court that in 2015 and 2016, the same time she was stealing from her parents, Roughley applied for and then took out a mortgage in her father’s name to buy the house where she and her partner lived.

He said the couple were unable to get approval for a loan to buy 123 Recreation Street in St Helens and Roughley then asked his father to be a guarantor, which he has accepted. However, she then proceeded to deceive the lawyers and the bank, Santander, that her father actually wanted to buy her and she was just helping him with the financial process.

The mortgage was granted in 2016 and Roughley made a £26,000 deposit to the bank. Mr Hussey said the money came from funds she stole from her mother and grandmother. Raymond Roughley’s name remains on the mortgage and he remains responsible for monthly repayments to clear the £50,000 debt.

He was unaware that he was technically the owner of the house until the wider thefts became known in 2020, as his daughter was making payments before. In a brief statement to the court, he said: ‘It has caused me so much upset and stress, as well as costing me financially.

Jeremy Lasker, defending, asked the judge to consider that the mortgage fraud was in the same context as the theft offenses against her family and asked that she be given a concurrent sentence. He said she was in “genuine” pain due to severed ties with her family and children and was focused on the October 2024 date when she should be released on license.

Mr Lasker said: ‘She accepts that she did wrong. Your Honor will remember the problems she had, the gambling addiction. She is now receiving counseling for it in detention. It is to her credit that she created this herself. Echoing his remarks at the October sentencing hearing, the judge, Recorder Imran Shafi, QC, said Roughley had committed an “extraordinary” crime and it had now resulted in his father ends up with a mortgage he didn’t want.

Recorder Shafi said: “He didn’t want to have any other financial liabilities. You tricked him, tricked the conveyancing lawyers, and tricked the building society, Santander, into believing that your father was buying the property and that the property was for him. Roughley, of HMP Drake Hall, was sentenced to 38 months in prison. However, this will be served alongside his other prison sentences and means it will not affect his scheduled release from licensed prison in the fall of 2024.

Veronica J. Snell