A FRAUDSTER who stole thousands of pounds from a vulnerable pensioner has been spared jail.
Leeds Crown Court heard how Shabana Ellis, 38, of Heckmondwike Road, Dewsbury Moor, met the 80-year-old man in Dewsbury’s Crow Nest Park.
Ellis, 38, befriended him and gained his trust before starting to ask him for money – which she said she’d pay back – and lifts in his car. The man, who lived alone, began giving her small amounts of cash between £10 and £20, but then she started asking for more.
Prosecutor David Ward said: “He started giving her sums ranging from £200 to £250.
“She told him she was in trouble with the bailiffs. He gave her his bank card and pin number and she began withdrawing larger sums than agreed.”
Ellis also moved into the pensioner’s home with her one-year-old son at one point, after telling him she was having trouble with her boyfriend. The offending took place while Ellis was on bail for another crime between May 25 and August 8 last year. It is thought she stole around £4,000 from her victim.
Ellis, a former drug addict, admitted to taking some money but said she intended to pay it all back.
The court heard she has 22 convictions for 33 offences, nine of which are for theft. She pleaded guilty to a charge of fraud but was spared a prison sentence because recorder Catherine Silverton agreed she “has turned her life around”.
Ms Silverton said: “I have to consider the inevitable impact of a custodial sentence on your son.”
Ellis was sentenced to nine months in prison, suspended for 18 months. She must also carry out 15 days of a rehabilitation activity requirement and will be electronically tagged for three months from 9pm-7am.