A conwoman who tricked a vulnerable man into handing over bank cars, which she then maxed out, cried as she was photographed by police.
Yulanda Panayiotou defrauded the victim of more than £10,000, opening accounts, store cards and mobile phone contracts in his name.
The 40-year-old also opened online gambling accounts and intercepted the man’s mail.
She claimed she could not have committed the fraud because she relied on a wheelchair – but was spotted on CCTV walking around a shop, and a police officer saw her running.
Panayitou, from Dagenham, east London, offered to help the victim – who was in his 60s – clear his garden while he was suffering from ill health.
She then offered to do some shopping for him, and he handed over his credit card – which she didn’t return.
A few days later she did the same with another bank card, which she also failed to return.
Panayitou pleaded guilty to 11 counts of fraud and three of theft of credit cards and a bank book, but was spared jail. She was given an 18 month prison sentence, suspended for two years and ordered to complete 80 hours of unpaid work.
She was arrested after an allegation of fraud was made in November 2016.
Panayiotou went to the victim’s home every day from then on, helping to clean his kitchen and doing small jobs around the house.
She used the victim’s credit and debit cards until they reached their limits, and altogether the victim lost around £10,500.
Investigating officer Detective Constable Neil Wakeling, from Romford police, said Panayiotou claimed she couldn’t have committed the offences as she is wheelchair-bound and she attended all her court appearances in a wheelchair.
However, there was overwhelming evidence against her including independent witnesses, CCTV evidence of her walking around a shop and a sighting by myself of her running. A jury took less than two hours to convict her on all counts.
News Source MirrorNews