Man bullied grandparents into handing over £340,000 in life savings

Daniel Tilden manipulated his grandparents into handing over £384,000 (Picture: BPM)

A man who conned and bullied his elderly grandparents into giving him their life savings has been jailed.

Daniel Tilden, 31, forced his victims, who were too afraid of him to refuse his demands, into giving him £384,000 over a ten-year-period.

On Wednesday, April 24, Tilden was handed a sentence of three years and nine months in prison at Swindon Crown Court. He was also fined and must not contact his grandparetns for 10 years.

Tilden began visiting his grandparents’ home frequently in 2013, spinning a web of lies to persuade them to part with their money, claiming it was for a new car or prescriptions, and once even alleging it was for private cancer treatment. 

Initially, he would accompany his vulnerable grandfather, aged 81, to a bank to withdraw thousands of pounds at a time.

But when the bank put a stop to this, he started pressuring his grandfather to get cashback at local supermarkets, before then arranging meetings at cashpoints for withdrawals. 

Tilden was finally arrested in November last year and released on bail while investigations continued, repeatedly violating conditions that prohibited him from visiting his grandparents.

He was subsequently re-arrested and charged with controlling or coercive behaviour in an intimate or family relationship under section 76 of the Serious Crime Act after manipulating his grandparents into handing over a total of £384,077.

In a victim impact statement, the grandfather expressed his fear of refusing Tilden, likening his home life to being ‘under siege’ due to the incessant visits.

PC Sarah Hardwidge said ‘This was a complex investigation which the Devizes Neighbourhood Policing Team worked on for three years. It was through partnership working with medical professionals, adult social care, banks and local shops that we were able to gather the evidence required and safeguard the victims.

‘Daniel’s offending behaviour towards his grandparents was appalling. He took advantage of their good nature and has caused them lasting distress in their own home. We would also like to thank the CPS (Crown Prosecution Service) and the courts for recognising the seriousness of this crime which is reflected in the sentence given.

‘We’re extremely pleased and relieved at the outcome as it has brought peace to the victims and protected them from further abuse.’

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