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£180K: Melissa Humphreys Colchester daughter sentenced 3 years for stealing parent’s life savings

Melissa Humphreys Colchester daughter sentenced
Melissa Humphreys Colchester daughter sentenced. Image via social media.

Melissa Humphreys Colchester daughter sentenced to three years jail after going through her parents life savings of £180,000 ($238K USD), leaving them in poverty. 

Melissa Humphreys of Colchester, Essex was on Friday sentenced to three years jail after robbing her elderly parents of their life savings of £180,000 ($238K USD).

The 33 year old daughter’s sentencing comes after Humphreys maxed out her parents credit cards and cleared their bank accounts when they were traveling around Europe in a motorhome.

The BBC reported over the course of four years, beginning in 2006, Humphreys stole her parents – Elizabeth, 79, and Terence Fordham – life savings, leaving them ‘living in misery’.

Told the father during his daughter’s sentencing at Chelmsford Crown Court, What has happened has been life changing for me, there’s not a day goes by without something triggering it and the emotions and memories come back to me.

‘I love my daughter Melissa to me she was my first born and the sun shone from her eyes.

‘To this day I don’t understand why or how she could do this to us, she has let the whole family down.’

Added the father who said he felt betrayed, ‘As the enormity of it was revealed it was like the bottom of my world had fallen out.’

Melissa Humphreys Colchester daughter sentenced: How she concocted deceptive scheme.

During trial proceedings, the court was told Humphreys, a trainee financial advisor was entrusted with overseeing her parents finances after they left in 2006.

Over the course of four years the daughter went through the money along with using five credit cards to run up the debt while keeping her parents in the dark.

The woman’s parents remained unawares as Humphreys instead used credit cards as opposed to cash on holidays, cars and expensive clothes. 

Humphreys was eventually caught out when the woman’s parents tried withdrawing cash from their bank accounts whilst in Spain after Humphrey’s sister Gail visited.

They asked her to investigate when she returned home, and Humphreys didn’t produce any bank accounts claiming they had all been ‘shredded’.

It was only when she contacted the banks directly and saw the overdrawn accounts that Gail found out what had happened.

Told Prosecutor Matthew Bagnall: ‘Miss Humphreys was entrusted with her parents bank accounts and their finances and over an extended period of time Miss Humphries drained their bank account and used credit cards to fund her own lifestyle.

‘They sold their house after retiring in March 2006 for £225,000 they bought the motorhome for £125,000, settled other debts left with £54,820.64 in a Halifax banK account.

‘They planned to travel around Europe in their motor home and to assist them in their financial matters they arranged for their daughter to have access to the bank account ie savings to pay for any expenses incurred.

‘This was restricted for day to day management for parent’s expenses not for personal gain or use.’

Melissa Humphreys Colchester daughter sentenced; counsel claim border line personality disorder.

Humphreys’ counsel, Steven Levy said his client had not intended to steal so much but found herself out of her depths when the debt began to ‘spiral out of control,’ reported the dailymail

He told the court: ‘Ultimately her thoughts were I will take £50 and pay it back at the end of the month, but this was a snow ball that never stopped.’

Levy also claimed Humphreys using the cash to help her ex-husband out financially after he was made redundant, along with Humphreys having been diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder.

Sentencing Judge Patricia Lynch QC said: ‘You reduced your parents who left you in charge of their hard earned money to virtual penury.

‘They have worked hard all of their lives, they have saved, they have paid off all their debts and bought themselves a motor home intending to travel and ultimately retire in France after a lifetime of working hard.

‘They left you in charge of their finances in effect entrusting you with their bank account and credit card and you systemically drained their hard earned money to fund your own lifestyle.

‘I have read their victim impact statement and it is not only pain of knowing you as your father described, a beloved daughter, doing this to them, it’s not losing all of their money.

‘It is the agony of the threats and the shame of being in debt as a result of other debt you ran up on the credit cards and the threatening phone calls they receive.

‘You have left them living in misery instead of enjoying their retirement they are left them without anything in a motor home miles away from their roots.’

Humphreys previously admitted four counts of fraud and two of theft.

Her family declined to comment after the hearing.