The second media-report only exception to our normal rule is to make brief note of the case of two lay deputies facing substantial custodial sentences after conviction on a total of seven counts of theft (amounting to some £500,000) from a £2.6 personal injury compensation fund they were administering as first Receivers and Deputies for Samantha Svendsen. Press coverage suggests that Cathy Watson, Samantha’s mother claimed that the Court of Protection never briefed her on her role as Receiver or Deputy. It would also appear that Robert Hills said they had been given no advice, warnings or directions about what the compensation money could and could not be spent on spent. It further appears that the bulk (if not all) of the transactions in question took place prior to 2007: it would appear that the couple spent £200,000 on cars between 1999 and 2004, £18,000 on jewellery from March 2000 to December 2001, and more than £22,000 on a property in Cleethorpes, Lincolnshire.
The facts of the case appear extremely stark, as do the consequences both for Ms Svendsen herself and the public purse (her compensation having come in the first place from the NHS). It is, though, difficult absent a transcript of the proceedings (and/or, which may be forth coming in due course, a written copy of the remarks made upon sentencing) to assess the extent to which the case throws light upon the current, as opposed to the previous regime. In particular, it is unclear precisely when investigations started into suspicious transactions that started well over a decade ago.