Fraudster could be jailed after fleecing cash from vulnerable man with mental age of 11
A Sunderland fraudster fleeced cash from a vulnerable victim with a mental age of 11 by telling bank staff she was his niece.
Kimberly Nelson, 37, of Grindon Lane, Grindon, fraudulently obtained £400 by getting the 47-year-old to make three withdrawals.
Two of those were at the TSB branch in Jarrow in early 2020 – and both times she told cashiers she was his close relative.
But her false claim was also her undoing – after they grew suspicious and tipped off police about the sickening scam.
Magistrates in South Tyneside have warned Nelson she could be jailed, after she pleaded guilty to three fraud charges.
They heard she accompanied her victim to a cashpoint at Tesco’s store in Newcastle Road, Simonside, South Shields, on Wednesday, November 20, 2019.
He took out £300 which she pocketed – and on Thursday, January 2, 2020, she persuaded him to withdraw £50 from the TSB.
On that occasion, she informed staff she was his niece and they paid out the money.
But she was rumbled after she repeated the trick at the same branch on Wednesday, February 12 last year.
Prosecutor Gurjot Kaur told the court: “The complainant is 47-years-old and has significant learning difficulties and a mental age of 11.
“He lives alone but gets support from carers who come four times a week to take him to the shops. He is known to social services.
“On November 20, 2019, the defendant has taken the complainant to Tesco and taken out £300.
“She did so on the false premise that she was going to deposit that money into his account. There is no evidence that it was paid back.
“On January 2, 2020, the defendant has again got the complainant to withdraw money, this time from the TSB in Jarrow.
“She’s introduced herself as his niece when in fact they are no relation, and made to take out £50 on the pretence she was going to do his shopping.
“On February 12, she again went with him to the TSB in Jarrow and again introduced herself as his niece, and took out £50.
“Staff have become suspicious and have alerted the police. In interview, she gave ‘no comment’ replies.
“There’s been a deliberate targeting of the victim. He is a vulnerable adult.”
The court heard the starting point for sentencing Nelson for her crimes was six months behind bars.
Nelson has five previous convictions from six offences, including a similar fraud in 2016 for which she pleaded guilty and was fined.
Greg Flaxen, defending, told the court: “The case has been put in a fair way.
“She is not heavily convicted, but there is some dishonesty in there.
“I feel this is one of those cases where the Probation Service will need some input. She has shown genuine remorse for this.”
Kevin Thompson, chairman of the magistrates’ bench, told Nelson: “We would like an all options report, with custody a possibility.”
Nelson will be sentenced at the same court on Thursday, July 1.