Should Power of Attorney legislation be reviewed?

The son of a late dementia sufferer is now in discussions with Parliament this summer, following a successful campaign.

Nick Lewis launched a campaign aimed at getting the Government to review protections for anyone granting a Power of Attorney (POA) to another over their financial affairs.

This campaign followed the death of his late mother who suffered from dementia, and was defrauded out of her savings by Margaret Rigby, a woman purporting to be a family friend.

Instead of spending the money on care for Mrs Lewis, Rigby allegedly lavished gifts upon herself and family members including purchasing a caravan, clearing debts and a holiday to America, while Mrs Lewis was said to be seriously ill and being cared for in a nursing home in Kent.

According to reports, Rigby had been a friend of Mrs Lewis, 80, for more than 40 years and had been trusted enough to be granted power of attorney over the Mrs Lewis’ financial affairs.

Gravely ill Mrs Lewis was unaware of the deceit and was cheated out of £60,000.

Mr Lewis and MP for Kenilworth, Jeremy Wright met with the Minster for Justice, Caroline Dineage in Parliament to discuss the matter. Mr Lewis said at the time: “I am seeking to ensure that what happened to my mum doesn’t happen to others. I was supported by Jeremy Wright in the meeting. There needs to be measures to prevent this from happening again, not just guidelines which are open to abuse.”

Mr Lewis would like anyone who has been granted POA to be regularly reviewed and for an appointed inspector to make checks, including examining supporting receipts and other documents.

Rigby, her daughter Jayne Macdonald and son-in-law Allan Macdonald who is an ex-policeman, escaped jail. Rigby’s verdict was due to health grounds but each received a suspended sentence following the trial in September 2015. Canterbury Court also ordered the guilty parties to repay a quarter of the money they stole.

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