A MAN who stole thousands of dollars from his mother while she was in the advanced stages of dementia has avoided jail for the offence.
Antony Liggitt recently appeared before Albury Local Court for sentencing on the matter, having been found guilty after a hearing.
Sporting a denim jacket with Suzuki and Jack Daniels patches on it, the 51-year-old was told the offending was "pretty serious" by magistrate Rodney Brender.
Liggitt had taken $9000 from his mother's account by making withdrawals at ANZ branches in Lavington and Albury.
He had taken her bank card while she was living in a Wodonga nursing home, and made the withdrawals between May 16 and 28 last year, only five months before her death.
Sole control of Ms Liggitt's finances had been handed over to her niece after a hearing before the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal, with Liggitt's power of attorney rescinded.
He claimed his mother "insisted" he take the cash.
"I felt entitled to get the money," Liggitt told the court last year.
"It's my money anyway."
"It's a fact that I did take the money," he said.
"I took it because my mother told me to take it."
Despite his mother having advanced dementia at the time, Liggitt said "she seemed fine to me".
The sentencing heard Liggitt had breached two court bonds by the offending.
He had issues with alcohol and his mental health at the time, the court heard.
Lawyer Tim Hemsley said his client had been struggling to maintain payments on his mortgage and had been living in a hotel for an extended period of time.
He is unable to live in his Resolution Street property, which needs to be built.
Magistrate Rodney Brender ordered Liggitt undertake a community corrections order over 12 months.