A GAMBLING addict who blew more than £100,000 on internet betting funded his spree by helping himself to money belonging to his mum and seriously ill father, a court heard.

Jason Rogers, 28, took advantage of dad Richard, who suffers from Alzheimer’s, and mum Carol over a four-month period last year.

Edinburgh Sheriff Court heard how Rogers stole £54,000 from his parents’ bank accounts between August and November last year.

The court heard how Rogers blew the money on a website belonging to Irish gambling company Paddy Power.

Rogers – who had power of attorney over his father’s finances – then applied for £90,000 of loans from a number of financial institutions. He obtained the loans by pretending to be his parents.

After the money was transferred into their accounts, Rogers then put the money into his account.

The court heard how in order to obtain one loan he had to obtain the signature of his vulnerable parent Richard. He tricked his father into signing the loan application by telling him that it was papers for a Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) refund.

Rogers then continued to gamble until his mother was told by her local TSB branch that her account there had been “cleaned out”.

After finding a letter in Rogers’ bedroom in which he confessed to what he had done, the court heard how she confronted him at their home in Dunbar.

The court heard that Rogers confessed what he had done and this prompted his mum to notify the police.

The story emerged after Rogers, of Seafield Crescent, Belhaven, pleaded guilty to theft and fraudulently obtaining £90,000 before Sheriff Robert Fife.

After warning Rogers he faced a possible prison sentence for his crimes, Sheriff Fife said it beggared belief that TSB had not warned his parents that their son was emptying their bank account.

Addressing defence solicitor Colm Dempsey, Sheriff Fife said: “I’m saying this in open court. It beggars belief – what systems did the bank have in place to have stopped this from happening? Why did the bank not take some steps to stop this before the account was cleared?

“I would have assumed that banks would want to protect money rather than allow it to be defrauded.”

Moments earlier, depute procurator fiscal Aidan Higgins told the court how Rogers’ dad Richard took early retirement in 2007. Upon retiring, his employers gave him a £37,000 lump sum and a pension of between £1,200 to £1,400 per month.

Mr Higgins told the court that Mr Rogers Snr was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2012 at the age of 57 and that his condition deteriorated “quickly”.

The court heard that Rogers helped set up online bank accounts for his mother Carol. He had the login details for the bank accounts and was granted power of attorney over his father’s finances.

Mr Higgins told the court that Mrs Rogers was asked to go to her local TSB branch in November 2016 and received some bad news about the family’s finances.

Mr Higgins said: “She was asked to attend at the bank to discuss transactions from her and her husband’s accounts and when she attended she was informed that her accounts – which were joint accounts with her husband – had been cleared out.”

The court heard that Mrs Rogers was stunned and went home to speak to her son.

When Mrs Rogers got home she found a letter in Rogers’ bedroom in which he confessed to having taken £54,000 for gambling.

Mrs Rogers later spoke to her son about what he had done.

Mr Higgins said: “She confronted the accused in person and he admitted he had used the money for gambling.

“He went on to tell her how he obtained loans in her and her husband’s names. He spoke in detail about the loans and that he had applied for them in their names.

“After that conversation, the mother contacted police.”

The court heard that Mrs Rogers then discovered that her son obtained a total of £90,000 in loans from a number of different banks.

The court heard that after the money had been transferred into his parents’ accounts, he then electronically transferred the funds into his account which he used for gambling.

Mr Higgins told the court that police investigating the matter discovered how he obtained one loan.

Mr Higgins added: “He had to obtain the signature of his father. In order to do so, he told his father that he was signing for a Payment Protection Insurance refund.”

The court heard that Rogers had gambled the cash with Paddy Power.

Mr Higgins said that during the spree, Rogers tried to get Paddy Power to close his account.

However, the court heard that the company didn’t comply with Rogers’s request.

Mr Higgins added: “He contacted Paddy Power and asked them to close his account. They asked him to send a screenshot of his bank account to demonstrate he was in good funds.

“He did so – he complied with their requests but they didn’t close his account and this permitted him to carry on gambling.”

Sheriff Fife adjourned sentence on Rogers in order to obtain reports into his character.

He told Rogers that all sentencing options were available to him.

Sheriff Fife told Rogers: This is a grave matter.”

Rogers will be sentenced at Edinburgh Sheriff Court on October 26. His solicitor will address the court on that date.