A son who squandered £230,000 of his elderly mum's money after being put in charge of her finances got the punishment he deserved, top judges have ruled.

Graham Westbury, 66, ran through his mother Joyce's cash after she fell ill with dementia, London's Appeal Court heard.

And his brother, Keith, who should have received a six-figure inheritance under her will, was left empty-handed when she died.

Westbury, of New Road, Hook, pleaded guilty to theft at Merthyr Tydfil Crown Court last June and was jailed for three-and-a-half years.

But on Tuesday Mr Justice Martin Spencer, sitting with Sir Brian Leveson and Mr Justice Jeremy Baker, heard him argue his sentence was far too long.

The judge said Westbury had been given a power of attorney over his mother's financial affairs after her mind began to fail in 2002.

She died in a care home in 2011, leaving a will which divided her estate equally between her two sons.

There ought to have been roughly £230,000 left, after care costs, for the brothers to share.

But, after the reading of the will, Keith was shocked to discover that all his mum's money had been spent.

It emerged that Westbury had sold his mother's home, putting the cash into his own account in 2004, and had been gradually draining it ever since.

He used part of the money to buy a new home for himself, but claimed that his mum had approved all his spending "during lucid periods."

Mr Justice Spencer dismissed that tale today as "patently untrue."

Westbury's lawyers argued that he ought to have been sentenced on the basis that he stole only £99,000.

But the judge said he should have complained about that much earlier and his grounds of appeal were "misconceived".

He concluded: "The judge's approach to sentencing was impeccable and this appeal must be dismissed."