A FORMER car dealer who pilfered more than £17,000 from his mother's bank accounts is facing jail this week - unless he can prove he has a job.

Neil Marron stole the money his late father had left for his widow, Margaret, a court heard today (Monday, February 25).

The 35-year-old hid bank statements so she would not realise what he was up to throughout last year.

The thefts were discovered when Mrs Marron complained to bank officials who confirmed monthly statements were sent.

It emerged dozens of withdrawals - totalling £17,660 - were made at cashpoint machines across Teesside.

When confronted, Marron showed no remorse and told his mother: "The money was mine, anyway."

His lawyer, Rachel Dyson, told Teesside Crown Court that he was about to start a factory job if he was not jailed.

Judge Michael Taylor demanded to see proof of the employment offer, after saying: "I've heard that one before."

The disbelieving judge asked Miss Dyson: "Given his record of offending, I treat, with some degree of suspicion, any claim he has got a job to go to."

He told Marron: "I will give you an opportunity to see whether or not your claim is genuine."

The former used car dealer will return to court on Friday, when he has been ordered to provide proof of the job.

The judge said: "I have little sympathy at this stage, and, for me, he is going to prison."

Marron, of Linthorpe Road, Middlesbrough, had earlier admitted theft.

He told police he had been buying cars to make money, but failed to do so, and had racked up £30,000 of debts.

Miss Dyson handed the judge a letter from Mrs Marron - who was in court - and a document about a training course.

She said: "He informs me, depending on the outcome of this case, he will have a job ready in a factory."

The court heard Mrs Marron hid her bank card in a neighbour's safe after discovering the thefts.

She said her late husband had worked hard to provide money for his family, and her son showed no respect.

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