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Thief's prison sentence was 'entirely appropriate' 

Man who stole £1m from wife's grandfather loses appeal

A prison sentence handed to a Manx resident who stole almost £1 million was ‘entirely appropriate’.

That’s the ruling of the High Court of Justice of the Isle of Man which has rejected Garry Richard Vernon’s appeal.

Vernon was sentenced in April this year after being found guilty of stealing £997,000 from his wife’s grandfather between 2010 and 2013.

Sentencing Deemster Graeme Cook described his actions as ‘extremely deceitful’ and ‘morally disgusting’.

You can find out more HERE.


Vernon argued that the custodial sentence – of nine years imprisonment – for three offences of theft was ‘manifestly excessive’.

He claimed the starting point, of nine years nine months, was too high and took no account of inflation adding inadequate credit was given for his personal mitigation.

Vernon also accused Deemster Cook of failing to make sufficient reduction to reflect the delay between the investigation, which started in 2015, and the trial in 2023.

However Judge of Appeal Cross KC, and Acting Deemsters Wild and Smith, refused the appeal saying the case was ‘impossible’ to place within the constraints of sentencing guidelines.


In their judgement they said Vernon’s victim was a retired man, who lived in a nursing home, who had intended to leave his ‘considerable estate’ of more than £1 million to his family and his chapel.  

Vernon, they said, had used ‘his status, his knowledge and his familial links to this vulnerable old man to perpetuate the thefts’.

The gravity of his offending is perhaps best reflected in the words of his victims who have not only lost their inheritance, but their family have been driven apart by his actions.

"The tragedy of this family born of his dishonesty is immeasurable – they are a family torn apart.” - Judge of Appeal Cross KC, and Acting Deemsters Wild and Smith

They add they have ‘no doubt’ that Deemster Cook had imposed a sentence, at least in part, to deter others adding: “We endorse the use of lengthy sentences to deter those who might inveigle their ways into the lives of the elderly and the vulnerable.”


The full judgement will follow in due course.

You can find out more HERE.

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