A MAN who defrauded his elderly and infirm friend of 30 years out of his entire £72,000 nest egg has been jailed for three years.

Anthony Bogg, 57, ripped off his drinking companion, George Sunderland, who had suffered a severe stroke and was funding his own nursing home care, Bradford Crown Court heard yesterday.

Bogg, of Tower Road, Saltaire, was granted Power of Attorney on Mr Sunderland's affairs and went on to drain his bank account, prosecutor Ben Thomas said.

Mr Sunderland, 72, lived alone in Shipley until he became seriously ill in January, 2013, and was moved from hospital into a nursing home.

He was able to afford 24 hour care from his savings and with the £77,250 proceeds from the sale of his home, Mr Thomas said.

Bogg, who used to meet Mr Sunderland in the pub, was asked by the pensioner to take on Power of Attorney because he had no family.

A financial review by Bradford Council in December, 2014, found that Mr Sunderland had £58,426 in capital but by August, 2015, the defendant said it had dwindled to £1,600.

The following month, it was all gone.

The police were alerted and began investigating cash withdrawals from Mr Sunderland's bank account credited to Bogg.

Bogg at first denied any wrongdoing and then made no comment when questioned.

He then stated he had known Mr Sunderland for 30 years and the pensioner had voluntarily helped him out with money as gifts or loans.

The court heard that Mr Sunderland said he had never given Bogg anything.

He had been ripped off and was angry and annoyed.

Mr Thomas said Mr Sunderland was now "living on the state" with his care publicly funded.

Bogg pleaded guilty on the day he was due to stand trial last month to fraud by abuse of position, between April 2013 and September 2015.

His barrister, Anne-Marie Hutton, conceded: "He has breached in a gross way the trust that was imposed in him."

Bogg had spent some of the money on Mr Sunderland, taking him on outings and holidays and buying him items to improve his life.

Both Bogg and his wife were unwell and he had used the money to pay off £60,000 of debt.

The couple lived modestly and there was no evidence of any high living from the fraud.

Bogg was a good father and grandfather who should never have agreed to have Power of Attorney, Miss Hutton told the court.

"This is a man who was not able to manage his own finances, let alone the affairs of anyone else," she said.

Jailing him, Judge David Hatton QC told Bogg: "You took upon yourself the Power of Attorney in relation to the financial affairs of this gentleman.

"That was a significant degree of trust. You utterly abused that trust to pay off your debts."

Speaking after the case, Acting Detective Inspector Steve Banks, of Bradford’s Serious and Organised Crime Unit, said: "Today’s sentence is welcomed by the Financial Investigation team who have conducted a thorough and complete investigation into this matter.

"The punishment will hopefully deter others from exploiting vulnerable members of our society.

"The victim of this crime had spent a lifetime working to provide for himself in the retirement years of his life. To have those savings stolen from him by a person he trusted is a most callous act."