Therapist cleared of stealing £1.5 million from his mother after accusations from sister
A therapist accused of stealing more than £1.5 million from his wealthy mother said he is looking forward to spending time with her after he was cleared of theft in a prosecution brought by his sister.
Jonathan Feld, 62, was accused by Louise Radley of helping himself to 89-year-old Hannah Feld’s life savings after she became too ill to look after her financial affairs.
Southwark Crown Court heard how he bought an £80,000 Porsche, withdrew large bundles of cash from ATMs and went on shopping sprees for “skinny jeans and puffer jackets”.
Feld (pictured) denied two charges of theft from his mother, who was said to be suffering from “significant cognitive decline”, claiming any money was a gift from Mrs Feld, with whom he still has an “excellent” relationship.
She retired to Tel Aviv, Israel, with her late husband Monty – who died in 2010 – after selling the family clock and watch firm.
Giving evidence, Feld told how he was banned from his sister’s home in around 2006 and said their relationship was: “Fraught. Frightening. Non-existent.”
He was last week cleared of stealing £1.3 million from a joint Swiss bank account in his and Mrs Feld’s names between May 2015 and November 2017 after Judge Gregory Perrins directed the jury: “As a matter of law it is not legally theft to effectively steal from yourself.”
On Tuesday, he was cleared of a further charge of theft relating to almost £270,000 allegedly stolen from his mother’s Israeli Bank Leumi account between October 2014 and September 2017.
Feld, from Kilburn, north-west London, who had entered the dock carrying a suitcase, clutched his chest, wept and clasped his hands in prayer after the verdict.
Speaking outside court, Feld thanked his legal team and said: “I’m looking forward to spending time with my family and my mum and the verdict speaks for itself.”
A statement from Stephen Fidler & Co Solicitors, the firm representing Feld’s sister – who brought the private prosecution, said: “We are obviously disappointed that the jury did not feel there was sufficient evidence to convict Jonathan Feld in relation to the allegation of theft.
“It was alleged that Jonathan Feld, over a long period of time stole a fortune from his mother who was suffering with dementia.
“There was no dispute he received considerable funds but the jury were clearly not satisfied so that they could be sure he acted dishonestly.”
The statement added: “It was always the aim of the prosecutor in this case, Louise Radley, to seek justice for her mother and not seek anything for herself but to recover monies to be used in the provision of care for her mother Hannah who is unable to care for herself.”
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