Published: 10:01, 19 June 2014
Femme fatale Rachel Carpenter has been sent to prison after being branded a “ruthless predator” for exploiting elderly men.
The 44-year-old con woman plundered the bank accounts of victims with a variety of callous ploys.
These included baring her breasts, offering sex, lying about being a dead woman’s close friend and leaving one victim with just 17p in his bank account.
Carpenter, formerly of St Andrew’s Close, Folkestone has already got convictions for stealing cash from pensioners saying she was collecting for charity and blackmail.
Now she has been jailed for 39 months after Judge James O’Mahony told her: “You are a ruthless predator of lonely, vulnerable and elderly gentlemen who have worked hard all their lives and put money away.
“You helped yourself and relieved them of their money”.
Canterbury Crown Court heard how her two latest victims were aged 80 and 84 years old who she conned £18,500 out of them.
The court heard how James Lucas, 80, first met Carpenter on the street when she begged money from him.
They spoke again through another friend, Dagmar Oaks, but then lost contact for two years.
It was then that Carpenter rang him out of the blue claiming to be his friend Ms Oaks and Mr Lucas couldn’t recall what she had looked like.
Carpenter turned up at his home in July last year then asked to borrow £5,000 to buy a caravan and said she needed £2,500 to secure the purchase.
Mr Lucas said he didn’t have the money but offered to lend her £1,500 and the cruel conwoman said she would repay him within days.
The court heard that Carpenter was so insistent she drove her victim to his bank in Ashford so he could withdraw the cash.
But after getting the money she promised to drive him home, but left
It was only when the real Ms Oaks turned up the next day that Mr Lucas realised he had been defrauded of the money.
After reporting the incident to the police an envelope turned up at his home with Carpenter’s number and she claimed she would repay him and wanted to remain friends.
In June Carpenter approached her second victim, Ted Barton, in the street in Ashford, claiming she knew his late wife from hospital.
She said that his wife had told her that if ever she needed money, her husband would help out.
It was, said the judge “ a cynical exploitation”, as she then asked for £6,000.
Over the next few days she talked Mr Barton into handing over money...eventually leaving him with just 17p in his bank account.
She then offered sex if Mr Barton gave her money and “bared her breasts”, but he turned down her offer.
Carpenter had left behind a lighter and a bottle of booze – and police were able to match the DNA from these items to hers.
Mr Barton told the court in a Victim Impact Statement, that his life savings had been taken, which had also included money he had set aside for his funeral.
After police began investigating, money in envelopes was pushed through his letterbox, the court was told.
Judge O’Mahony said: “The theme to all your offences is predatory conduct, preying on the elderly and vulnerable.
“With Mr Barton you took all his life savings, leaving him with just 17p.
"You used a sexual approach, offering to sleep with him and at one point exposed your breasts.
"You used a sexual approach, offering to sleep with him and at one point exposed your breasts. Mr Barton has been extremely traumatised" - Judge O'Mahony
“Mr Barton has been extremely traumatised.
"He feels horrible to have lost his life savings and understandably feels desperately sorry at
his relationship with his deceased wife being abused.
“All people can feel like this, people who are conned by people like you. They feel awful about it because they feel they should have kept their guard up and they blame themselves.”
Carpenter had pleaded guilty to five fraud charges and one of witness intimidation.
The judge ordered her £2,200 car be seized by police and sold to repay her victims.
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