Edinburgh presenter Hayley Matthews facing jail after embezzling £120,000 from mum

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A Scots TV and radio presenter is facing a jail sentence after she embezzled more than £100,000 from her dementia suffering mother.

Hayley Matthews took the massive amount from the bank account belonging to Janice Matthews after she had been made power of attorney over her mother’s financial affairs.

Matthews, 43, took a total of £120,000 and spent the stolen cash on a £1,300 Mulberry handbag, swimming lessons for her children and cash withdrawals amounting to £38,000.

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Matthews, from Edinburgh, also spent her mother’s money on Amazon purchases totalling £13,648.97, £5544.17 with the White Company and a further £1137.82 on eBay purchases.

Hayley Matthews is facing jailHayley Matthews is facing jail
Hayley Matthews is facing jail | Alex Lawrie

Edinburgh Sheriff Court was also told the former STV2 presenter made purchases with Harvey Nichols, H&M, Milton Brown and Monsoon and splashed out on goods from Greggs, Deliveroo, Five Guys and Hotel Chocolat.

Matthews pleaded guilty to embezzling £120,000 from mother Janice Matthews while acting as power of attorney between September 24, 2019 and November 8, 2022 when she appeared at the capital court on Thursday.

Prosecutor Nadia Stewart told the court Janice Matthews was diagnosed with vascular dementia in 2019 and suffered from an alcohol addiction leading her to being admitted to hospital on a compulsion order.

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Hayley Matthews took control of her mother’s financial affairs but concerns were raised about the finances following the death of Mrs Matthews in September 2021.

The court heard Matthews’ sister queried the amount she would be receiving from her mother’s estate and that the radio presenter had been “dismissive” of her sibling’s enquiries.

Matthews family eventually received copies of Mrs Matthews bank statements and noticed “cashline withdrawals had substantially increased” after she had been admitted to hospital.

Dad Alistair Matthews, a retired fire fighter, then contacted his daughter for an explanation in January 2022 where she admitted spending large sums for her own gain.

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The fiscal said Matthews told her father: “You’re right, I’ve been shocking handling mum’s money and paperwork. I’ve spent what I shouldn’t and used money I shouldn’t. I wasn’t in a very good place when looking after her but I tried my best.

“I massively over compensated and used money that I shouldn’t have but I tried my absolute best.”

The court was told Matthews’ sister “analysed the transactions on her mother’s bank accounts” and after spotting around £100,000 was missing decided to contact the police.

Matthews was arrested on January 5 last year and during an interview she said she had spent money on hampers at Harvey Nichols for hospital staff and clothes for her partner.

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The fiscal depute said among the illegal transactions there had been 371 PayPal payments between October 2019 and September 2021 that amounted to £46,763.

Defence agent Kieran Clegg said his unemployed client was facing “a very serious matter” and had a “very complex home situation” regarding her two children and asked for her bail to be continued.

Sheriff Alison Stirling agreed to release Matthews on bail but told her she should “make arrangements for the absence from your household.”

Sentence was deferred for reports and a restriction of liberty order assessment to next month.

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Matthews is a former presenter of the STV2 arts magazine show Live at Five, has worked as a radio presenter withTalk 107, Forth 1 and Real Radio and was a newspaper columnist, including at the Edinburgh Evening News, before resigning last year.

She has also worked alongside Lorraine Kelly on the STV Children's Appeal live show and has interviewed stars including Jason Donovan, Amy Winehouse, Andy Williams, Nile Rogers and Gary Numan.