Fraudster conned her own gran out of thousands of pounds

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A single mother defrauded her dementia-suffering grandmother out of more than £3,000, a court heard.

Lisa Pickles, 35, abused the trust placed in her to use her 74-year-old relative’s money to buy food and shopping for her after she was moved to a care home.

Pickles withdrew sums of cash from her grandmother’s account and used her bank card to buy items for herself.

She also used the cash pay for a stay at a hotel and to pay for computer gaming equipment for her 14-year-son.

Leeds Crown Court heard Pickles’s grandmother was moved into a care home in 2013 after being diagnosed with dementia.

Pickles and her mother were initially responsible for doing shopping for the victim.

Pickles then took sole responsibility for doing it after her mother was diagnosed with cancer.

The offending came to light in June last year when Pickles’s mother received a phone call from the bank to say that her mother’s account was overdrawn.

Investigations showed that her bank card had been used to buy items from stores including Iceland, Asda and the Co-op. Payments had also been made to Facebook, Sky and Vodafone.

A total of £3,466 was taken illegally from the victim’s account by Pickles over a four-month period.

Pickles, of Vaughan Way, Kettlethorpe, Wakefield, pleaded guilty to eight offences of fraud.

Kate Bisset, mitigating, said Pickles was “mortified and devastated” about appearing in court. She said Pickles had an extremely close and loving relationship with her grandmother.

Miss Bisset said Pickles got into financial difficulties after taking on responsibility for looking after her grandmother.

She lost her job in a café as a result of constantly needing to take time away from work.

Miss Bisset said she took the money to pay for essentials to provide for her son.

She added: “It was not for luxury items and foreign holidays. It was trying to survive.”

Pickles was given a six month prison sentence, suspended for two years, and ordered to take part in a 30-day activity programme designed to address her offending.