A SON who stole thousands of pounds from his elderly mother to fly his online Ghanaian girlfriend to the UK has been jailed for six months.

As reported by the Daily Echo, Robin Brierley, of Hankinson Road in Bournemouth, took £7800 from his “vulnerable” mother Sylvia Brierley after he and his brother Philip Brierley had been granted her power of attorney.

Prosecutor Tim Bradbury told the court that the 59-year-old fraudster had accessed Mrs Brierley's HSBC account on four separate occasions, sending much of the money to a woman he had met on the internet and putting a further £1,000 towards a holiday to Brazil.

“The defendant's mother was 87 years old. She had been living in a nursing home since 2011, suffers with poor physical health and Alzheimer's,” added Mr Bradbury.

Brierley was confronted by his brother about the missing money, before his family called the police and he was arrested.

He pleaded guilty and confessed to sending the money to a woman from Ghana he had met on the internet.

Defence barrister Charles Gabb said his client had been the victim of a scam and has been trying to raise the funds to repay the money.

He added: “It may be said there is nothing like an old fool and being stupid. He has been a fool to himself.

“It begs the question, how on earth does a man of 59 with a blameless record become involved in this?”

Mr Gabb described the impact the break-up of Brierley's marriage had had on him and that he was at “rock bottom” at the time of the fraud.

“This is not an excuse, it is an explanation,” said Mr Gabb. “For some reason he found himself unable to cope.

“Who on earth in their right mind would think striking up a relationship with a woman from Ghana on the internet was a good idea?”

Brierley kept his head bowed as he was told he would have to serve half of his six month sentence in prison for fraud by abuse of position.

Sentencing, recorder Jonathan Fuller said: “There may be all manner of reasons why you chose to take this money, but you chose to take it from your elderly and vulnerable mother.”