‘Predator’ fraudster who targeted the elderly is jailed

Bradford Crown Court
Bradford Crown Court

A drug addict fraudster is back behind bars after a judge branded her a “predator” who took advantage of her elderly victims’ kindness.

Mum-of-three Gemma Dean, 29, had only been out of prison for a few days when she started preying on vulnerable householders in Brighouse and Wyke in order to get money for her drug habit.

Bradford Crown Court heard that one of Dean’s unsuspecting victims was an 82-year-old woman who handed over money than £80 after Dean turned up at her Brighouse home at 5am.

Prosecutor John Bull said Dean claimed that she needed the money to collect her nephew from hospital and her victim even made her a drink while she waited for a taxi to pick her up.

In the days leading up to that offence Dean, formerly of Methuen Oval, Wyke, twice visited the Wyke home of an 86-year-old woman and conned her into handing over about £30.

She also went to another elderly couple’s home in Wyke, but she left there empty-handed.

The court heard that all of Dean’s latest offences were in breach of a five-year Criminal Behaviour Order imposed in 2015 which banned her from going to homes and asking for money.

In February this year Dean was sentenced to 14 months in jail for similar offending, but Judge Jonathan Rose heard that she was released on licence after serving only four-a-half-months.

After being arrested in relation to the latest crimes Dean admitted three charges of fraud and one of breaching the Criminal Behaviour Order. She had already been recalled to prison for breaching his licence and she was sentenced over a video link to HMP New Hall.

Barrister David McGonigal, for Dean, conceded that her previous offending was an aggravating feature and that his client had been given opportunities by the courts.

Judge Rose jailed Dean for 16 months after saying her previous offending meant the sentencing guidelines did not cover a case like hers.