A FRAUDSTER who duped an elderly man into handing over his life savings after worming her way into his affections has been jailed.
Heartless Sharon Greaves conned the 89-year-old into thinking they were getting married, and told him he was handing over hundreds of pounds for her to buy outfits for their wedding day.
But in reality the 52-year-old was squandering her victim’s life savings on drugs – leaving him virtually penniless and at his “lowest point”.
Greaves, who befriended the pensioner while living opposite him on Spencer Court, Layton, was jailed for three years and two months at Preston Crown Court yesterday after pleading guilty to six offences of theft.
Det Con Marc Armstrong, from Blackpool police, said: “It’s had a devastating impact on him and his family’s lives and Greaves has shown no remorse for what she did.
“It isn’t just the financial loss, the main thing to him is the loss of his independence, because he has had to move in with his daughters.
“He had lived in Blackpool for 11 years and enjoyed where he lived but it’s all been taken away from him because he thought he had found someone he could spend his last years with.”
The court heard Greaves – who had 74 previous offences on her record – did not engage in a physical relationship with her victim but convinced him her intentions were genuine.
Believing they were to marry, the victim handed over hundreds of pounds in gifts, clothing and cheques before asking his bank for a £1,000 loan in a bid to give Greaves the wedding she wanted.
Greaves twice lied about having to cancel the wedding before telling her victim it would take place on March 31 last year – but no register office was booked and by this time the pensioner had handed more than £2,460 and was almost penniless.
Saul Brody, prosecuting, said: “It is the Crown’s case that she deliberately targeted him. She got herself into his affections, firstly visiting and spending time with him and thereafter, developing a relationship with him.”
The police were alerted when the victim’s daughters contacted them after their father rang asking for money because he was broke.
In a victim impact statement read to the court the 89-year-old said: “I was at my lowest point.
“I am a proud man from a generation who doesn’t ask for help. I had to swallow my pride and ask my daughter for help.”
Greaves sat crying in the dock as her barrister Peter Horgan described her long struggle with drugs.
He said: “For 20 years she has struggled with a drug addiction. In recent times she has lost the support of her husband which had an impact upon her.”
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