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Thief to be sentenced after stealing nearly £20,000 from disabled Burton woman

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: March 05, 2014

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A CRIMINAL who stole nearly £20,000 from a disabled Burton woman will face sentencing at crown court after pleading guilty to committing fraud by false representation.

54-year-old Ann Harris took advantage of Katherine Jones’ trust, gaining access to her bank cards and pin number, which she then used to buy clothes and food for herself, as well as withdrawing sums of cash.

Burton Magistrates’ Court heard how Harris, who is currently being held at HMP Foston Hall in Derbyshire, had befriended Ms. Jones over a two-year period and also moved into her house. It was during that time Harris gained access to Ms. Jones’ bank cards. Between January 1 2012 and October 27 2013 Harris used Ms. Jones’ HSBC bank card to spend approximately £9,816 on herself. She also used a Santander bank card owned by Ms. Jones to splash around £9,605 on clothing and food for herself as well as withdrawing money between December 31 2012 and October 17 2013.

Emma Thompson, prosecuting said that what had happened taken its toll Ms. Jones. She told Magistrates: “This is a particularly distressing case. The victim is a vulnerable 25-year-old woman who is a wheelchair user and has cerebral palsy”

“The defendant befriended the victim over a two-year period. It reached the point where she allowed the defendant to live in her house and even referred to her as ‘mum.’ All the defendant’s money has been taken and has not been recovered.”

Harris, who herself has mobility issues and walks with a stick, was told by Magistrates that she will be sent to crown court for sentencing.

When asked by the bench if there was anything she would like to say, Harris, who is from Weoley Park Road in Birmingham, wept and told them: “I am extremely sorry for what I did and I deeply regret it. Katherine is a lovely girl and I shouldn’t have done what I did.”

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