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Woman admits £75,000 fraud after meeting West Cumbria pensioner online

Phyllis Woods outside Carlisle Crown Court

A WOMAN has admitted carrying out a sustained £75,000 fraud against a pensioner she met online.

Phyllis Woods, 67, was warned she must now prepare for a possible prison sentence by a judge who postponed her punishment until the new year while specialist background reports are prepared.

During a short hearing at Carlisle Crown Court this morning (MON), Woods pleaded guilty to four offences.

She admitted three of fraud: by making false representations to a 71-year-old West Cumbrian man that money totalling £75,340 which was “borrowed” from him “would be paid back from monies owed to her”.

Woods also admitted stealing two watches belonging to the same male victim. Her offending, the court heard, occurred between January of 2017 and July last year.

Judge Nicholas Barker adjourned the case after a request was made by her barrister for specialist background reports to be provided both by the probation service and the defendant’s GP.

Woods, of Smithills Croft Road, Bolton, was granted bail and is due to be sentenced at the crown court on January 10.

“You just understand this,” Judge Barker told her. “That a fraud of this sustained nature and of this amount in these circumstances and the way it was committed is likely to attract a custodial sentence, and that the court will have in mind very seriously the prospect of an immediate custodial sentence.

“You should take the time between now and 10th January to prepare for all eventualities.”

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