A CRUEL conman who preyed on elderly women to feed his heroin habit has been jailed for six years.
One of Jonathon Oulton’s victims was a 96-year-old who went from being a very independent person to a frightened and scared woman as a result of her ordeal.
The other was an 84-year-old who now finds herself very wary of people.
At the time he carried out his crimes, on a single day last December, Oulton was on licence from a four-year jail term that had been passed for an offence which he had committed in similar fashion.
Oulton, 37, of The Croft, Poulton, struck at a communal block of flats on Cherry Tree Court, Fleetwood, on December 16.
He asked the 84-year-old woman if he could go in to leave a note for a neighbour of hers who was a friend of his. He was allowed in and lent a paper and pen.
Oulton left, but 15 minutes later the police called to say a council worker had found the woman’s purse in a nearby bin.
The defendant was spotted on CCTV in the area. Loose change from the purse was not recovered.
In a statement the victim said: “I am now very wary of people. I am more security conscious”.
The same morning, Oulton struck again in Kemp Street, Fleetwood, at the home of the 96-year-old woman.
He asked after her son and asked for a carrier bag. The woman went to get one and he left soon afterwards.
It was later discovered £480 cash was missing from her handbag.
The woman’s daughter said: “Mother has gone from being a very independent woman to a frightened and scared old lady”.
Oulton had previous convictions for similar offending.
In June 2009 he was given four years’ prison for burglary and theft from a 67-year-old woman.
Sarah Booth, defending, said he was in the throes of a heroin addiction at the time and did not remember much about the offences.
“He does well in custody, but on his release, when presented with his addiction, he offends again. He is extremely ashamed of his behaviour and readily accepts it is abhorrent.
“He is more than aware of how the offences will be viewed, particularly because of the age of the victims.
“Prison doesn’t seem to work. Maybe he needs some intensive supervision intervention by those best equipped to do that. That can be done in custody.”
Judge Norman Wright told Oulton: “Targeting vulnerable members of our society isn’t only mean, it’s despicable.
“You should realise when you behave this way, you are behaving in the way of the lowest of the low.
“I must show society’s repugnance in dealing with these matters. While some people may want to see you locked up for life, it’s something I can’t do.
“These elderly ladies, in the twilight years of their lives have been blighted.”