Lodger stole bank card from man on day he died

Preston Magistrates court

Preston Magistrates court

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Carers for a disabled man who died at his home today blasted his lodger, who stole his cash card the day he died.

Tragic William Thomason, 50, was found slumped on the sofa at his home in Gisburn Road, Ribbleton, by his carer and neighbour Arthur Hollinshead.

Four weeks earlier Mr Thomason had taken in Kieran Richardson, 34, now of Grizedale Place, as he had nowhere to stay.

Richardson repaid his kindness by helping himself to his bank card on February 11 – the day he died.

Mr Thomason, a father-of-four who used to work as a cabinet maker, fell into spiral of drug abuse, friends say.

Last September, on his 50th birthday, he had to have his leg amputated.

Mr Hollinshead, 47, who used to take him to the bookmakers, became his carer and with the help of his wife Susan, 49, they would cook meals and do his shopping.

He said: “Billy took him in, and within days, this character was withdrawing his benefits for him. Billy was trying to help a friend and this is how he was repaid.

“The day he died we had been out celebrating a friend’s birthday and when we returned I went to check on him, but couldn’t get in at first.

“It is disgusting to think he did this.”

Devastated Mr Hollinshead found Mr Thomason dead at around 7pm, and found his bank card was missing when police arrived a short time later.

Richardson had helped himself to £250 from the dead man’s bank account, officers discovered.

He pleaded guilty to theft, and attempting to steal some of Mr Thomason’s personal papers two days after his death, in a hearing at Preston Magistrates’ Court.

He received a community order with a drug rehabilitation requirement.