A disgraced widow who claims she stole from an elderly man in order to feed her vulnerable son’s heroin addiction has been jailed for 20 weeks.
It is the second time defendant Jacqueline Chapman has abused the trust of an elderly person to con them.
The victim who lived in the same block as Chapman, had been helped with errands by the mum, and entrusted her his bank cards, PIN, keys and wallet while he was having treatment in hospital.
He asked her to bring him his wallet when she was due to visit him at his bedside, but she lied that she could not get access to his flat.
At the time, behind his back, she was withdrawing his cash from ATMs.
Prosecuting, Stephen Parker said she had made around 20 withdrawals from his account between March 10, when he went into hospital, and April 19, when she realised police were investigating the matter.
Her crimes continued even when suspicious police started investigating, and she lied to them that she didn’t know who lived in the flat.
The frauds totalled nearly £1,500 - and the court was told it is unlikely he will get the money back due to him giving out his PIN.
Chapman admitted fraud by false representation by making cash withdrawals to gain £1,476.40
Defending, Richard Archer said the mum had bought drugs so that her vulnerable son, who suffers severe mental health issues, did not go to unsafe places to buy drugs, and urged the judge to suspend her jail term.
But the court heard at the time of the offences, Chapman was still paying compensation to another pensioner for a very similar crime.
Last year The Gazette reported how Chapman stole gold jewellery from an 86-year-old dementia patient – her partner’s mother – whom she cared for.
She took items including rings and brooches and sold them.
After pleading guilty to theft and fraud she was given 200 hours unpaid work for the community and ordered to pay £1,000 compensation.
Judge Heather Lloyd ruled in view of this her sentence for the new offence could not be suspended.
She said: “You committed this criminal act despite having successfully completed an earlier community order for very similar matters.
“You committed this criminal act when still paying compensation to the victim, so clearly it appears to me you have learned nothing from that experience.
“Instead you took advantage of a man who was vulnerable and elderly.
“You lied to him and told him you were unable to gain access to his flat.
“This was at a time you were using his card – rather two faced, one might think.
“Your son’s needs overrode any concern for the man who thought he was your friend.
“In my judgement, despite the admissions and the early guilty pleas, the fact is you have committed a second offence very soon after the offence in February last year, and even if terms aren’t quite the same. it seems to me to suggest rehabilitation is very doubtful indeed.”
She made a restraining order for two years to prevent Chapman contacting the vulnerable man.