Serial scammer, 33, who told widower, 72, she loved him before he gifted her £45,000 in cash is jailed for 22 months after stealing a further £8,000 using his bank card
- Susan Geary befriended lonely pensioner and told ‘sob stories’ of homelessness
- The victim regularly gifted her cash sums which totalled £45,000 over months
- He said he did it because he felt sorry for her and he did it willingly
- When the gifts stopped, Geary stole a further £8,000 using his bank card
A con artist who befriended a recently widowed pensioner and told ‘sob stories’ about being homeless has been jailed for 22 months.
Susan Geary, 33, mercilessly preyed on the lonely 72-year-old, texting him that she loved him, wanted to live with him and they had a ‘great and true love’.
The victim, diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, regularly gifted her cash sums which totalled £45,000 over several months.
He said that he did it because he felt sorry for who he knew as ‘Belinda Amy’ – Geary’s two middle names – and said he did it willingly. The £45,000 did not form part of the Crown’s case against Geary.
Lisa Hardy, prosecuting, said that after the financial gifts stopped, Geary stole the man’s bank card – which he thought he lost – and mobile phone.
She dishonestly obtained £8,150 which included offending after being arrested and bailed with a condition to no longer contact the victim.
Geary also sent messages to a partner, whom she lived with, which said she was annoyed with the vulnerable man because ‘he can only give me £100’ on that day.
Susan Geary, 33, mercilessly preyed on the lonely 72 year old, texting him that she loved him, wanted to live with him and they had a ‘great and true love’
The victim’s daughter, who had power of attorney over one of her father’s accounts, installed CCTV and tried to deter him from having contact with Geary as she was so concerned about the blatant exploitation of her father.
Geary was caught on CCTV fraudulently using the bank card to withdraw funds.
The defendant was found at the victim’s Aylestone home in April in possession of his bank cards and car keys, Leicester Crown Court heard.
Geary, of Sturdee Road, Eyres Monsell, Leicester, admitted six counts of theft and one of fraud, totalling £8,150, between March and July.
Miss Hardy said that in April last year Geary was given a 12 month community order, with drug rehabilitation, after stealing £18,000 savings from another vulnerable man, in his 60s.
The court heard that the reason Geary needed cash was for drugs at the behest of an abusive crack-cocaine addict partner.
Recorder Bajraj Bhatia QC said: ‘The major aggravating feature is an almost identical previous conviction of deliberately targeting an elderly man and fleecing him of a substantial amount of money.
‘It was a persistent deliberate campaign of wicked dishonesty to take advantage of a man of 72 who had lost his wife and was in the early stages of mental illness – and the defendant knew that.
‘She says she was in an abusive relationship but this was abusive… taking advantage of a man’s kindness, decency and good nature.’
Geary’s barrister, James Bide-Thomas said: ‘The money went on drugs, she didn’t spend it on a lavish lifestyle.’
Mr Bhatia said it made no difference to the victim and his daughter whether Geary had been ‘buying fancy handbags and living the life of Riley’ because the money was gone.
Mr Bhatia told the defendant: ‘This victim had worked hard all his life as an accountant, and had hardly finished grieving for his lost wife.’
Geary suddenly interrupted, shouting at the judge: ‘I’ve just lost my sister as well, mate.’
Mr Bhatia replied: ‘I can see your remorse isn’t genuine by your demeanour and I advise you to be quiet.’
He added: ‘You must have known the victim had memory issues and you continued to take advantage of him.
‘This was during the period of lockdown, when many other people were behaving responsibly and staying home.
The defendant was found at the victim’s Aylestone home in April in possession of his bank cards and car keys, Leicester Crown Court heard
‘You were arrested and released on bail conditions, but that didn’t stop you from visiting him and you pursued him as an easy target, telling him a host of wicked lies and dishonestly obtained his credit card and used it over a substantial period.
‘You were given a chance on the last occasion but I’m afraid the time has come where the court can only deal with you differently. Your only mitigation is your plea of guilty.’
The victim’s daughter, in a statement, said her father had struggled to accept he had been manipulated and exploited.
She took numerous security measures to monitor the situation with Geary, even changing her father’s phone number, but described feelings of helplessness and dreading calls from the bank telling her that her dad was there with a female, wanting to withdraw yet more money or that he had emptied his account and needed another transfer.
Mr Bide-Thomas said: ‘She’s been on remand in custody and has resolved to keep off drugs and remain separated from her ex-partner – the clangof the prison gates has affected her.
‘She realises what a complete and utter mess her life has been.’
He said her last court sentence was ‘doomed to fail.’ Geary was jailed for 22 months.
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