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House sale cheat told to pay back just £1 at Proceeds of Crime hearing
A MUSIC teacher who fell for a prostitute and swindled his mother out of her house to fund their affair has been told to repay just £1.
The family of 96-year-old Margaret Butler – who lost everything when her son illegally sold her Bicester home – has said the pair should pay more for their “monstrous” crimes.
David Butler left his mother on the street in 2011 when he sold her house and gave the money to Rachel Read, a call girl 30 years his junior.
The 70-year-old’s “obsession” with the 39-year-old prostitute, who he met after answering a newspaper advert, ended in them both receiving jail terms earlier this year at Oxford Crown Court.
A former organist at St Edburg’s Church in Bicester, Butler was described as “a broken man” who finally turned himself in when he discovered Read had cleared out the bank account they shared.
The piano teacher was also left penniless and homeless by the relationship.
During his sentencing in February, defence barrister Peter Du Feu asked: “How much lower can a man sink?”
Butler was jailed for nine months and Read was sentenced to 12 months.
Yesterday they were back in the dock for a Proceeds of Crime Act hearing to try to recover the money they gained from their crimes.
David Bright, prosecuting, said in total the “benefit” gained by the defendants was £140,000 for Butler and £61,500 for Read.
But he said the Crown Prosecution Service accepted Butler had no money left, so asked him to pay a “nominal sum” of £1.
Mr Bright added that the most Read could raise was £3,032 from selling her car, which she was ordered to do within six months.
The defendant’s brother Graham Butler, 74, lives in Banbury Road, Bicester, next door to his mother’s former home and took her in when she was made homeless.
Yesterday, he said: “It was a monstrous thing, the way that money was taken, but there is very little we can do about it ourselves.
“It is a dreadful, shocking business.
“My mother and father worked so hard to buy that house all those years ago, and all the money from it was just stolen.
“My mother is 96 now and she never really got over what happened. She still asks about David but doesn’t seem really to be able to take it in.
“I certainly think Rachel Read should be made to pay more back – my brother was completely conned by her.
“He was a very weak, foolish man to be taken in by someone like that.
“And the money he took from the house he gave to Rachel, he was left with nothing.”
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