A callous thief who befriended and then stole money from an elderly woman in Selby has been jailed for six months.
On 31 March 2019, Leanne Clayton, 40, approached her 90-year-old victim as she was on her way to her local shop in Selby, and offered to go to the shops for her. The trusting victim handed her £20, telling her where she lived so she could bring the shopping back to her.
Clayton did the shopping and brought it back to the victim’s flat.
On 2 April, Clayton returned and entered the flat, and chatted to the victim. While there, she obtained the victim’s bank card and PIN. Immediately after leaving the flat, she used the card to withdraw £150 from a cash machine in Selby town centre.
She made a further five attempts to withdraw more cash, to the value of £420. Fortunately however, the card was blocked by the bank immediately after the first withdrawal, as until then it had never been used in all the time the victim had it.
Clayton visited the victim several times throughout the late evening and early morning of the following day, waking her up every few hours.
Clayton was arrested shortly afterwards by North Yorkshire Police.
Sadly, the victim died two weeks after the incident, although her death was not linked to the theft.
Clayton, from Doncaster, was charged with theft of £150 from a cash machine, and attempted theft of hundreds of pounds more. The case was heard at York Magistrates Court on 31 January 2020, but Clayton failed to attend and was found guilty in her absence. North Yorkshire Police officers continued the investigation to find her, with numerous visits to the South Yorkshire area.
Finally, on Sunday 10 May 2020, she was located and arrested by officers from South Yorkshire Police, and put before Doncaster Magistrates Court the following day. She was sentenced to 24 weeks in prison.
The victim’s family were kept updated throughout the investigation, and have welcomed the sentence. They passed on their thanks to the police officers and staff involved in putting the case together and the lengthy enquiries that were made to locate Clayton to ensure justice was served.
PC Heidi McLoughlin, from North Yorkshire Police, said: “This sickening crime involved the targeting of a vulnerable elderly lady, befriending her and gaining her trust with the sole intention of stealing from her. I am pleased to see that the judge recognised this by imposing a custodial sentence.”Last modified: May 20, 2020