Suffolk

7/7 widow Louise Gray jailed for stealing son's compensation

Louise Gray Image copyright PA
Image caption The court heard Louise Gray spent her own compensation on cars, clothes and luxury holidays

The widow of a victim of the 7/7 London bombings has been jailed for stealing £43,000 from her son's compensation.

Louise Gray, 42, of Sheldrake Drive in Ipswich, frittered away her £250,000 compensation on cars, clothes and luxury holidays before turning to her son's fund, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

She was jailed for two years and eight months after admitting stealing the cash.

Accountant Richard Gray, 41, was one of 52 people killed in the 2005 attacks.

Image copyright Suffolk police/pa
Image caption Richard Gray was killed in the suicide bomb attacks in London on 7 July 2005
Image caption Emergency services attended one of the three Underground explosions at Aldgate station

Two years after his death, his wife and two children were awarded money by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority.

Mrs Gray received £250,000, their son Adam got £50,000 and their daughter got £100,000.

'Emotional blackmail'

The court heard Adam Gray was 11-years-old when his father was killed and he handed his money to his mother for safekeeping when he turned 18.

Michael Crisp, prosecuting counsel, told the court that when Adam later asked for his money, his mother had claimed she had a tumour.

He said: "The health fears she expressed in texts were unfounded and emotional blackmail."

Richard Conley, defence counsel, said: "He [Adam] is deeply mistaken in his anger towards his mother.

"She has been portrayed as feckless, heartless and conceited... but she is a tragic figure in these events in her own right.

"That has impacted on her judgements."

Sentencing her, Judge David Goodin said: "The offence you have committed against your son, the trust you betrayed - a second hammer blow following the death of his father - is so serious it can only be met by a custodial sentence."

She admitted stealing the money between July 2012 and November 2013 at an earlier hearing.

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