Exeter Court Service
Wednesday, March 6, 2013
Kevin Salter stole his mum and dad’s life savings to set up a doomed cafe business in Thailand.
A timeshare salesman has been jailed for plundering his parents’ life savings and blowing £27,000 on a doomed restaurant venture in Thailand.
Kevin Salter cashed in £25,000 worth of premium bonds and stole another £2,000 investment from his father because he believed he could make a fortune with his new business.
The would-be entrepreneur did not consult his family before taking the money which he lost within weeks when his café-bar in Chang Mai folded.
Salter vanished in Thailand after taking the money and his worried parents called the Foreign Office to try to trace him before they realised what he had done.
He left his mother with savings of just £4,678 and his father with just £13,350 for their retirement after he forged their signatures so he could cash in their premium bonds.
Salter, 46, of Hollingarth Way, Hemyock, admitted four offences of fraud and was jailed for ten months by Judge Francis Gilbert, QC, at Exeter Crown Court.
The judge told him: “This was a gross betrayal of trust owed by you to your parents. You claimed to be making an investment for their benefit but if that was so, why didn’t you simply invite them to lend you the money.
“The truth is that you stole for your own purposes, knowing perfectly well they would not agree, quite rightly as it turned out because you squandered the money in this foolish venture.
“You have showed no remorse and are unable to accept what you did was wrong. You stole a cheque and stole a bank statement to cover up what you had done.
“What you did was clearly very wrong. This was a large amount of money and a serious abuse of trust.”
David Bowen, prosecuting, said Salter had come back to Britain from Thailand and was living with his parents when he found the premium bonds and National Savings certificates.
He cashed £15,000 belonging to his mother Wendy and £10,000 and a £2,000 NSI bond belonging to his father and then forged a cheque when some of the money was paid into a bank account.
He said: “Salter went back to Thailand and lost contact with his parents for some months. They thought he was missing and reported it to the Foreign Office to try to find him. It was only later they realised the premium bonds were missing.”
Nick Bradley, defending, said his client was trying to help his parents because they were getting such a poor rate on their savings and he thought he could invest the money better in Thailand.
He said: “He had been living in Thailand for a number of years and had already invested in a timeshare in Bangkok.
“He also had a plan for another venture with a portable firing range which he hoped to take around fairs and car boot sales, charging £2 a go, which he thought could make £1,500 a day.
“He is now living back with his parents and has no income and is living on benefits.”
Mr Bradley said Salter’s parents had been compensated by National Savings and the bank, which are now the losers from the fraud.