JAILED: Drug addict who stole nearly £20k from pensioner he befriended at Gala Bingo in Bournemouth (From Bournemouth Echo)
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JAILED: Drug addict who stole nearly £20k from pensioner he befriended at Gala Bingo in Bournemouth
A DRUG addict who stole nearly £20,000 from a kind-hearted pensioner who let him lodge at her home was jailed for a year.
Lewis Mann, 33, of Grosvenor Gardens, pleaded guilty to two counts of fraud after transferring £4,000 from the Tesco Bank savings account of Penelope Salmon to his own account, and using her card to make 53 withdrawals of £300 each.
He claimed to have taken the money to repay drug debts.
Prosecutor Anita Gibson-Lee told Bournemouth Crown Court that Mann had befriended Penelope Salmon at Gala Bingo in Bournemouth earlier this year, and she invited him to live in her spare room.
He was unemployed, without benefits, and didn’t like where he was living at the time, and he did her housework and used her current account bank card to buy household goods. She also loaned him £700.
His victim had a savings account with around £30,000 in it, for which, in July, she requested a new card and pin number.
However, this was intercepted by Mann, whose transactions were detected when she contacted the bank two months later.
When arrested, Mann admitted his guilt to police. He said he had taken the money to pay for drugs and drug debts as he was being threatened.
Mann appeared before the courts on five previous occasions up to 2003, for offences including burglary, robbery and theft from a home, coinciding with a previous period of heroin use.
In mitigation, Les Smith said Mann had been drug free and working for a decade before the offence, and had relapsed into heroin use as he felt isolated after his brother began spending more time with his new family.
Judge Johnson said: “You befriended the complainant in this matter, and out of the kindness of her heart she allowed you to stay in her house, and treated you like a member of her family.
“This is a clear breach of trust on your part.”
The court heard that Tesco Bank had restored the victim’s savings, but no compensation order was made due to Mann’s meagre assets.
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