Con woman stole from Hampstead pensioner
Tan Parsons A CON artist who stole the life savings of a sick pensioner from Hampstead is facing a lengthy spell behind bars. Sarah Jones, 45, helped herself to �10,000 after Penelope Lloyd-Newman, of Glenloch Road, entrusted her with her bank cards when
A CON artist who stole the life savings of a sick pensioner from Hampstead is facing a lengthy spell behind bars.
Sarah Jones, 45, helped herself to �10,000 after Penelope Lloyd-Newman, of Glenloch Road, entrusted her with her bank cards when she became bed-ridden in February 2008.
A jury at Blackfriars Crown Court took only three hours to convict Jones, of Wilkin Street, Kentish Town, of three counts of theft and one of having an article for use in fraud.
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Judge John Hillen adjourned sentencing until January 5 while reports are prepared but he warned Jones: "You face a lengthy custodial sentence. Such a sentence is virtually inevitable."
The court had heard how retired casino-worker Mrs Lloyd-Newman, 65, had given the cleaner her card and PIN to do the shopping. But while Jones helped the pensioner out, she also helped herself to a four-month spending spree.
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Jonathan Polnay, prosecuting, said: "Given the good relationship she had with Ms Jones she thought it not unreasonable to entrust her with her cash-card and PIN number to get out some money to buy food.
"As far as she was concerned, her trust was repaid. Ms Jones came back with the food and appropriate receipts. The card was returned. The same situation occurred in March the same year."
But Mrs Lloyd-Newman's suspicions were raised in April when Jones kept finding excuses to pop out while vacuuming.
Weeks later the stricken pensioner made it to the bank herself to find she had been cleaned out. A statement revealed a string of withdrawals each for several hundred pounds.
Jones was arrested in June and during a police interview admitted withdrawing some of the money, but claimed it was with the elderly woman's permission.
Architect Zach Pullman earlier gave evidence, telling how his account was cleared of �3,000 when he employed Jones to clean his Camden home, although she faced no charge in relation to that allegation.
Jones stood trial alongside 35-year-old boyfriend Mark Fitzsimmons but he was acquitted of theft by the jury.
Speaking after the conviction, investigating police officer Det Con Sam Azouelous said: "This was a calculated and manipulative theft from a vulnerable pensioner. Throughout the investigation, Jones attempted to deceive the enquiry by undermining the character of the victim. The verdict sends out a clear message that those who target the weakest in society will themselves become targets of a thorough and robust police investigation."
In a strikingly similar case Sheila Archiro, 43, of Aspern Grove, was sentenced at Wood Green Crown Court to 15 months in prison for stealing �9,700 from an 89-year-old living in a care home in Belsize Park.
Archiro was employed as a carer and abused her position over a period of six months, taking advantage of the vulnerability and failing health of her employer to steal cheques.
Age Concern Camden gave evidence for the prosecution against Ms Achiro and boss Gary Jones spoke out to condemn her actions.
He said: "This is a dreadful case, as is all abuse of older people, financial or otherwise.