A GAMBLING addict who took over £40,000 from his sick father's bank account before living rough in a wood to avoid arrest has been jailed for 28 months.

Appearing at Mold Crown Court via video link from HMP Altcourse, after earlier admitting a fraud charge, Ian Wyn Edwards, of no fixed abode, but from Froncysyllte, was told by Judge Peter Heywood that he had committed a "mean offence" that had a "devastating affect on your father".

Prosecutor Matthew Curtis said Edwards, 53, had defrauded his 88-year-old father who had suffered a stroke and was in a care home for part of the time the offences had taken place.

Edwards had arranged for a debit card from the victim's account to be delivered to the home address where he purported to be and proceeded to withdraw a total of £40,887.84 between December 2017 and May 2018.

The offences were revealed when the victim was in the bank complaining about the situation and it became apparent that a withdrawal of money had been made while he was there.

A victim impact statement prepared by Edwards' father said his son's offending had left him feeling "shattered and broken".

Judge Heywood said the aggravating factors included the "significant period of time" over which the offences had taken place and that the victim was "particularly vulnerable given his age and health".

It was also revealed that Edwards had carried out a similar fraud against his father in 2011 and had previous convictions dating back to the mid 1980s for burglary and dishonesty.

Henry Hills, defending, said his client had made full admissions from the outset of the case and had exhibited remorse and acknowledged his wrongdoing.

His gambling addiction had led to "degradation and despair" with Judge Heywood remarking that he had clearly been "backing horses that are still running".

Following the offences, Edwards had been avoiding police by living in nearby woodlands for around a year where Mr Hills said he was reduced to "begging for food from neighbours".

Edwards, who had pleaded guilty on July 18 via videolink at Caernarfon Crown Court, was sentenced to 28 months in prison and warned he could expect strict license conditions on release.