Winsford woman jailed for stealing thousands of pounds from two vulnerable men
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A 44-year-old woman from Winsford has been jailed after admitting stealing thousands of pounds from two vulnerable men in the town.
Chester Crown Court heard that Jayne Hanson, of Pentland Close, pressured the elderly and frail victims into lending her money and never paid a single penny back.
She also stole more than £5,500 from one of the victim’s accounts after convincing him that she could be trusted to take his bank card to do some shopping for him.
He met Hanson for the first time when she knocked on his door as a complete stranger asking for money.
The victim lent her money that day and on every subsequent occasion she went to his flat.
The amount of money he handed over increased over time, with Hanson telling him that she needed it to pay for everything from food, electricity and clothes to visiting her children in hospital.
Hanson did some shopping for him in return, taking his bank card to do so.
The victim discovered that his account had been practically emptied when he asked the bank why a bill payment had been rejected.
Hanson was the only person who had access to his account.
She transferred money from his account into her own over a 27-day period between Tuesday 28 August and Monday 24 September 2018.
Her offending regarding the other victim occurred between Thursday 1 March and Monday 12 November 2018.
She pestered him for money at his home, over the phone and when he was out shopping or collecting his pension.
Having known her for a long time and believing that she was struggling financially as a mother of young children, the victim was initially happy to lend her small amounts of money.
But, again, the amounts Hanson wanted increased over time.
The court heard that he felt pressured into continuing to give her money and the situation led to him crying himself to sleep and changing where he shopped and withdrew his pension in a bid to avoid Hanson’s begging.
The court was also told that the amount of money Hanson borrowed from the victim is unknown.
Again, she did not pay any of it back.
After the offences were reported, Hanson voluntarily attended a police station on Tuesday 20 November 2018 and was interviewed about them under caution.
She was subsequently charged with a fraud offence and two counts of theft.
Hanson pleaded guilty to the offences, saying that she needed the money she took as she was in debt to loan sharks, and was sentenced at Chester Crown Court on Monday 17 February 2020.
She was jailed for two years and eight months.
Following sentencing, Police Constable Paul Gilchrest, who led the investigation into Hanson’s offending on behalf of Cheshire Constabulary, said: “The two victims in this case are both frail, elderly and vulnerable men who were targeted and persistently exploited due to their friendly, generous and caring nature.
“They were made to feel sorry for Jayne Hanson and gave her money on the understanding that it would be paid back.
“But they were misled by Hanson from the start as she had no means to pay back the money.
“She told the court that she needed money as she was in debt to loan sharks.
“The money she asked the victims for increased over time and she was relentless in her pursuit of the victims’ savings.
“One of the victims felt forced to make changes to his lifestyle in a bid to avoid Hanson’s persistent begging.
“The other had more than £5,500 stolen from Hanson after he had trusted her to take his bank card to do shopping for him.
“But her offending has affected far more than the victims’ bank balances and their shopping routines. It has also had significant detrimental impacts on them psychologically and emotionally.
“I am delighted that Hanson is now behind bars facing the consequences of her actions and I hope that the victims can now begin to move forward with their lives.
“I also hope that this case hammers home the message that exploiting vulnerable people will not be tolerated.
“We treat such cases extremely seriously here at Cheshire Constabulary and urge anyone with any information regarding the exploitation of vulnerable members of our communities to call us on 101, give us the details via https://www.cheshire.police.uk/ro/report or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”
On top of her custodial sentence, Hanson was ordered to pay a £170 victim surcharge and handed a five-year Criminal Behaviour Order.
The CBO, which will be activated upon her release from prison, prohibits her from contacting the victims, either directly or indirectly.
It also bans Hanson from:
- Begging for money in a public place within the Cheshire West and Chester area
- Entering any sheltered housing complex, supported living accommodation or care or nursing home within the Cheshire West and Chester area unless visiting a family member and having written permission of the manager of that accommodation
- Offering to provide or engage in shopping, household chores, help with financial matters or any other activity which amounts to the provision of a service for gain (either financial or otherwise) to anyone not living with her, unless she does so as part of a legitimate employment or business
- Entering any private property within the Cheshire West and Chester area for the purpose of the provision of services outlined above
- Being in possession of a bank card, credit card, passport, driving licence, cheques, giro slips or financial documents of another person, except family members
- Going to Brecon Way or Hambleton Way in Winsford.
Anyone who sees Hanson breaching the conditions of her CBO upon her release from prison should call Cheshire Constabulary on 101 to report it.