August 1 2014 Latest news:
Tuesday, June 10, 2014
A hairdresser who wrote out cheques to herself from an elderly customer has been jailed.
Mobile beautician Michelle Bennett, 42, of Willowbrook Drive, Coates, pocketed more than £8,000 over what she should have been paid for services in the space of three years.
Bennett had been visiting the pensioner since the late 1990s and would always be paid in cash. But after her victim asked to write her a cheque in 2010, she began accepting a monthly payment.
The victim, now 95, would ask Bennett to write out the cheques for her, but did not review them due to her failing eyesight and because she trusted Bennett. The fraud only came to light when the victim asked a friend to check her accounts.
Bennett was convicted of fraud by false representation by a majority of 11 to 1 following a trial at Peterborough Crown Court.
She was jailed for a total of six months on Wednesday June 4.
She also paid £8,000 back to the victim on sentence.
Detective Constable Peter Hune, who investigated, said: “This was a huge breach of trust by Bennett who preyed on her victim’s vulnerability.
“The victim put complete trust in someone who she felt was her friend, but Bennett betrayed that loyalty for her own gain.”