Devastated: George and Carol Rowe.
Devastated: George and Carol Rowe.

Pokies take an old lady?s life savings

By MIKARLA THURECHT ? ROCKHAMPTON pensioner Betty Watson thinks the world of her daughter-in-law Beverley Florence Ludwick.

The cruel twist is that because Betty, 84, has dementia she will nev- er know that her beloved daughter- in-law has gambled away all her life savings.

Ludwick, 49, of Nobb Street North Rockhampton, yesterday pleaded guilty to fraud in Rockhampton Mag- istrates Court.

The court heard Ludwick had withdrawn $6740 from Betty's bank account over the past seven months to finance her gambling habit and had handed herself in to police about three weeks ago.

Betty's daughter and son-in-law Carol and George Rowe said they were disgusted that anyone could take advantage of an old woman in a nursing home.

The Rockhampton couple said Ludwick's actions had torn the fam- ily apart.

"She has ripped off an old lady for poker machine money. "Mum thinks she's got money but she's got nothing,'' Carol said.

"She doesn't even have enough to buy a box of tissues.''

Carol said she was disappointed her brother Kenneth had stood by his wife despite what she had done to their mother.

"I don't want anything to do with him (Kenneth). Not now. He's hurt us too. She did it to his mother and he has stuck by her. If it was my husband or wife, I'd be out the door.''

Ludwick was yesterday ordered to repay $6040 to Betty within 12 months or face six months in jail. She was also sentenced to 18 months' probation.

But as far as George is concerned, that was not enough: "Justice has let us and mum down again. She (Ludwick) will be back at the pokies tomorrow and Mum will still be broke. You don't do that to an old lady.

"She has dementia. She can't think for herself. It's so wrong.''

George alleged it was the second time Ludwick had taken money from Betty. The first time was not reported and was dealt with by the family.

Ludwick yesterday declined to comment when contacted by The Morning Bulletin.



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