A fraudster fleeced a vulnerable pensioner of almost £40,000 after he took pity on her “sob story” that she had crippling debts, a court heard.
Linda Dalby, 49, faked county court documents as part of her scam to convince the victim that she was in desperate financial trouble.
Leeds Crown Court heard the victim withdrew his life savings from the bank and also took out loans which he handed over to her.
Dalby, of Hansby Avenue, Seacroft, Leeds, would even take the victim to the bank where he would withdraw cash and hand it over to her.
Patricia Doherty, prosecuting, said Dalby got to know the victim as he was her mother’s neighbour at a sheltered housing complex.
Dalby told the man she had financial problems and that bailiffs were after her.
She asked him to lend her money but claimed she was due to receive an NHS compensation payment of £56,000 and would be able to pay him back.
Dalby was arrested in February this year and told officers the victim had offered to lend her the money to pay her mortgage arrears.
She pleaded guilty to one offence of fraud.
Richard Reed, mitigating, said Dalby did have substantial debts at the time of the offence. He said: “She saw an opportunity when he was so ready to help.”
Mr Reed said Dalby had no previous convictions. He added that she had managed to save £3,000 in order to start repaying the victim.
Judge Batty gave Dalby an 18-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, and made her the subject of a 12-month community order.
The judge also made a confiscation order for £3,000 and told Dalby she had six months to pay a further £3,000 to the victim.
He said: “I think it is a really mean offence.”