A WORKINGTON conwoman who preyed on vulnerable, disabled and elderly victims within her own community has been jailed for four years.
Kimberley Plaskett, 27, targeted six different victims – all living within two miles of her Holden Road home – as she plundered almost £2,500 between December last year and July.
Carlisle Crown Court heard how Plaskett even used a child as a “prop” to distract one pensioner, who lost almost £1,600 after she stole his bank card and made numerous ATM visits while he entertained the child at his address.
Plaskett learned would-be victim’s names, cold-called at some properties and duped a number of unsuspecting householders into handing over school sponsorship money which never reached the intended good cause.
One man moved home as a result of Plaskett’s offending, while prosecutor Stella Hayden said of another victim: “He feels like a fool for falling for her lies.”
Heroin addict Plaskett initially told police a “tissue” of untruths but later admitted five fraud charges, three thefts, harassment and attempted theft.
She was jailed by Judge Peter Davies and banned from contacting her victims for 15 years.
Judge Davies called her crimes “flagrant”, speaking of “despicable, wicked offences which lack humanity and have no conscience”.
Detective Constable Mark Ayton said: “The defendant in this case embarked upon a callous campaign of criminal dishonesty and in doing so targeted some of the most vulnerable people in our society.
“I would like to praise all of the victims and the many witnesses who came forward in this case. The fact that so many were prepared to give evidence is a testament to the great sense of community we have in the area.
“I would urge anyone who has been a victim of such crime to report this to the police. It is with the help of the community that we are able to identify offenders and take positive action, as we have done in this case.”