A drug addict mum from Halifax who stole rings from a trusting 87-year-old woman and then tried to get £1,000 from her bank account has been jailed for 15 months.
During Rachael Whinray’s sentence hearing at Bradford Crown Court it emerged that she had been jailed for nearly four years in 2011 for punching a frail 98-year-old woman in the face and stealing £100 from her.
The court heard that Whinray, of Union Street South, Halifax, gained her latest victim’s trust by visiting her home to do her hair, but she stole the five gold rings from a dish and pawned them for £90.
The next day Whinray went into a bank with the complainant’s bank book and tried to withdraw £1,000 by claiming to be the pensioner’s granddaughter.
Prosecutor Robert Galley said when the bank employee became suspicious Whinray started making a fuss in the bank by saying:”He won’t give me any money to pay my ill grandmother’s bills and he wants me to go and get her.”
The court heard that Whinray later returned to the bank with the complainant, but she then asked for only £200.
The mum-of-two admitted offences of theft and fraud and her barrister Joanne Shepherd said the crimes were committed at a time when her client was living a chaotic lifestyle and was desperate for money.
Judge Peter Benson said Whinray had ingratiated herself with the complainant so that she trusted her to be in her home.
“You targeted a vulnerable lady as you had done a few years previously,” he told Whinray.
“It seems to me you are someone who preys on vulnerable, elderly people to satisfy your needs.
“That cannot be tolerated. Elderly people need the protection of this court and I will give it to them.”