Lottery winner must repay £86k she took from her late mother

She argued that her mother wanted her to have it, but her sisters disagreed. Now the court has ruled

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Margaret MacDonald, a 57-year-old from Blantyre in Lanarkshire, has been ordered to pay back every penny of the £86,000 she took from her mother's bank account after her death.

The order was made by a court, after MacDonald was sued by three of her sisters, and is the result of five years of legal battles. It's just one of a number of recent stories where close family have stolen shocking sums from one another.

The Daily Record reported that MacDonald, whose husband won £500,000 in a lottery syndicate in 2009, took the money after the death of her mother, Margaret Doonin, five years ago. The HMRC customer services adviser returned £50,000 of it, but said that she was told to take the rest by her mother.

According to the Mirror, MacDonald said that before she died, Doonin had given £10,000 each to five of her eight children, and that she had instructed MacDonald to take £30,000 and divide it equally between the other three. She said she had taken the other £50,000 to keep it safe.

Her sisters said this wasn't true, and took her to court. They cited the fact she was estranged from her mother, and had been removed from her will. The court sided with the sisters and ordered her to return the money - plus thousands of pounds in interest.

Stealing from family

It's hard to imagine a time when a daughter would take money from her dead mother, but the courts have seen a shocking number of cases where close family members have taken cash from one another. In the past month alone there have been some horrible examples.

In December, a 38-year-old from York was found guilty of stealing £140,000 from her 89-year-old grandmother - leaving her unable to afford to heat her own home. The woman continued to see her grandmother every day while she was taking the money and spending it on luxuries.

At the end of the month, a 48-year-old from Swansea was jailed for two years and eight months, for stealing his father's life savings of £28,000 while he was in hospital having his leg amputated. He only stopped when the money ran out, leaving his father overdrawn. He spent the money on a trip to Egypt and a number of shopping sprees.

Just last week, a 44-year-old Barrow-in-Furness woman was given a 12 month suspended prison sentence, for stealing £20,000 from her 23-year-old daughter. The money had been an inheritance from her late father, and she put it aside to pay for a wedding and a deposit on her first home. However, her mother persuaded her to hand over her bank card - arguing that it would stop her being tempted to spend it - and a year later it emerged that she had spent every penny on luxury holidays and shopping sprees.

And this week, a 46-year-old woman from Stoke-on-Trent was jailed for a year, after admitting she had stolen £18,000 from her 82-year-old mother. The elderly woman was ill, and had given her daughter her bank card so that she could withdraw £200 for her. Shockingly, after she returned with the money, she held onto the card and used it to take the rest of the cash out and spend it on shopping and gambling online.

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