Grandson stole �900 that had been saved for his dying grandfather’s funeral expenses.

A GAMBLING addict stole the �900 his grandmother had saved to pay for his dying grandfather’s funeral, taking the cash from the bottom of a wardrobe and blowing the lot.

Riki Wiseman went to stay with his grandparents in Wisbech to support the family through a traumatic time -- but instead he stole the cash and then gambled it all away.

Wiseman’s 82-year-old grandfather died from cancer while the 20-year-old was staying with the family. But it was not until the day of the funeral that Wiseman admitted he had stolen the cash.

Wiseman was jailed for 16 weeks after he appeared at Wisbech courthouse on Tuesday and admitted stealing the cash from his grandmother Pearl Wiseman.

“I am really sorry, and need help with my gambling,” the grandson told District Judge Ken Sheraton. “I have been to Gamblers Anonymous, I need help.”


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Prosecuting, Nicola Rice said Wiseman stayed with his grandparents between June 17 and July 19.

“It was agreed he would be with the family as they went through a traumatic time,” she said.

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“In the wardrobe were three envelopes with �300 cash in each, his grandmother had withdrawn the money from her savings, to pay for the funeral.

“She found it had all gone. She knew he had a gambling addiction; Wiseman denied taking the money, but on the day of the funeral, at the wake, he was upset and crying, and disclosed to a family member that he had taken the money.

“His Nan spoke to him, he admitted he had taken the money for his gambling addiction, and she asked him to get help.”

After the funeral, Wiseman returned to his home in Alma Road, Enfield, and his grandmother had not seen him since.

In a victim statement Mrs Wiseman wrote: “I just hope this will help him with his problem and give him some sense.”

When arrested, Wiseman admitted the theft, and said he had lost all the money.

“This was a huge breach of trust, at a time when the family was going through difficult circumstances,” added Ms Rice.

The court was told that Wiseman had 45 previous convictions, including six for theft.

District Judge Ken Sheraton told him: “You were taken in to assist your grandmother while she prepared for the death and funeral. You stole �900 from her, money you knew was earmarked for certain expenses.

“It is clear from your previous convictions, not involved with gambling, that you will steal for whatever reason.”

Jim Wiseman died at home on June 30. He had a private funeral, followed by a celebration of his life at Elme Hall. Donations in his memory were raised for the Cambs MH and PCT Charitable Fund, for the Trafford Ward and Palliative Care at North Cambs Hospital.

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