A CASH-strapped woman fleeced her gran out of most of her life savings after becoming hooked on online gambling.
Amy Lindsay took advantage of Peggy Camps’ generosity in helping her with mortgage payments and council tax arrears.
But she went on to tell lies, which led to the pensioner being conned out of nearly £20,000 and ripped the family apart.
A judge described the impact of the crime as ‘heart rending’ when he considered 87-year-old Mrs Camps’ victim personal statement at Preston Crown Court yesterday.
Lindsay of Lee Street, Longridge, who had admitted a charge of fraud, was placed on 12 months supervision and ordered to pay a £1,000 compensation.
The court heard the offence was carried out for more than three years, but matters had not started out as a fraud.
At first, Lindsay had made proper representations about mortgage payments and council tax arrears.
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Mr Daniel Thomas, prosecuting, said she told a series of lies to get some of the money from her gran. One lie was that her money had been stolen from her own bank account and transferred to Malta.
Another claim was she needed money for legal fees to get the missing money back and that a solicitor was charging her £140 an hour.
Over time, whilst lending her money, her gran had a nagging feeling in her stomach that something wasn't right.
“Ultimately, she took a good portion of her gran’s life savings”, said Mr Thomas.
When questioned by police, Lindsay said she had got into debts due to windows needing repair work.
She spoke of fully intending to repay the ‘loans’, but the prosecution said that was a ‘fantasy’ as she was unemployed.
Mr Mark Stephenson, defending, said Lindsay had had personal and medical difficulties and was ashamed of what she had done.
The barrister said it had begun with her buying scratch cards, but progressed to online gambling.
The judge, Recorder Paul Taylor, told Lindsay: “You have conned your grandmother out of virtually all her life savings. You have devastated her and you have broken your family apart.”