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Spiteful Anita Oades befriended David Pettit then stole bank cards, cash, computer and watches from Ramsgate home

By Paul Hooper

A spiteful Ramsgate woman targeted a disabled man and became friends with him....so she could “plunder” his wealth, a jury has decided.

And when he complained to police, Anita Oades tried to claim all the money had been spent “on crack cocaine and prostitutes”.

But prosecutor Bridget Todd said they were “spiteful” attempts at mud-slinging to try to get the victim David Pettit to drop the case.

He's been jailed for using a 'stolen' credit card

Oades, 44, had denied stealing from “friend” Mr Pettit between July and November two years ago but was convicted on five charges.

She was found guilty of taking a quantity of bank cards, store cards, five crystal glasses, four jewellery boxes, a TV , a stereo system, a laptop computer, mobile telephone, a gold Omega watch, a silver Sekonda watch, a silver and blue Accurist watch, two yellow metal
rings, a signet ring...and a black model Citroen CV!

Now Oades, of Grange Road, Ramsgate will be sentenced next month as pre-sentence reports are prepared. She was given bail.

The jury at Canterbury Crown Court found her guilty of theft and four counts of fraud for using the credit cards illegally and selling items belonging to Mr Pettit.

The prosecutor had told the jury that Oades had befriended the victim “so she could take what she could get from him.”

“The Crown said she deliberately targeted Mr Pettit because of his vulnerabilities and then invested time in creating the false impression of a friendship in order to get access to his home, his personal effects and his bank accounts...all of which she variously

Ms Todd told how Mr Pettit had lived alone in Ramsgate but received visits from his brother and sister and her boyfriend.

She said: “Mr Pettit is disabled, having both of his lower legs amputated – and was reliant on a wheelchair and mobility scooter.

“In the summer of 2012 Oades knocked on his door out of the blue and asked Mr Pettit whether he could give her £10 for the electricity.

"He obliged in the hope she would go away.

“But she returned and offered to do some odd jobs around the house. He agreed, perhaps wanting the company as much as the assistance.

“That meeting was the start of a friendship...of sorts. She began staying the night from time to time and her visits began to increase in frequency, “ she added.

The prosecutor said that Oades would sometimes refuse to leave when asked..and “had access to the whole property”.

The case was heard at Canterbury Crown Court

In November 2012, the two had a row and Mr Pettit left his home on his mobility scooter and visited his mother.

The same day his brother Simon arrived to discover the front door open and a 50in Samsung TV missing.

He contacted his sister Julie who arrived to find Mr Pettit’s clothes had been removed from the wardrobe and were strewn over the floor.

Oades returned, claiming that Mr Pettit had asked her to sell the TV..but the police were called and it was then he discovered money missing from his accounts.

Ms Todd said that a ‘cash builder’ savings account with more than £4,000 invested...now had just 74p!

“Mr Pettit said he was unaware of the withdrawals and had never authorised them. Another £4500 was taken from another account.

“She saw Mr Pettit as a vulnerable asset ripe for the plundering.

"Having gained his trust she took from him whatever she could get" - prosecutor Bridget Todd

“His bank cards had been kept in his bedroom and his pin numbers in a drawer. Plainly Oades married up the two. Other property was then discovered to be missing, including jewellery boxes and watches", she said.

In November Oades was arrested and was found to be in possession of the stolen bank cards – she claimed she kept them because Mr Pettit had possessions belonging to her.

During her police interview, she made allegations that all the property had been sold by her on Mr Pettit’s instructions to pay for “crack cocaine and prostitutes”.

Ms Todd added: “An allegation which he strenuously denies. The Crown says that excuse was nothing more than a spiteful attempt to sling mud at him, presumably to discourage him from pursuing his complaint

“She saw Mr Pettit as a vulnerable asset ripe for the plundering.

"Having gained his trust she took from him whatever she could get", she added.

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