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'Femme fatale' Rachel Carpenter, from Folkestone, conned men into giving her a Mini and thousands of pounds

This is the Folkestone woman dubbed a “femme fatale” after duping thousands of pounds from vulnerable men.

Mum-of-two Rachel Carpenter conned two victims while she was on licence from prison for identical stings.

And when the devious 47-year-old was arrested, she callously made a false allegation that one of the elderly victims had raped her.

Rachel Carpenter has been jailed for fraud
Rachel Carpenter has been jailed for fraud

Carpenter, formerly of St Andrew’s Close, Folkestone, is now back in jail after being recalled to serve the rest of her sentence.

But a judge at Canterbury Crown Court ruled that because of the background, normal sentencing guidelines were not sufficient.

Carpenter, who is due to be released next year, has now been given a four-year jail term to run concurrently after admitting her two callous frauds.

Judge Adele Williams told her she had deliberately targeted the men, aged 85 and 86, who had been “desperately clinging on to their independence” in a “cruel, cynical and manipulative way”.

Prosecutor Ian Foinette told how Carpenter, who also has a previous conviction for blackmail, ingratiated herself by pretending she was someone known to the men.

The men, who we are not naming to protect their identities, were confused and were taken in by the crafty con artist.

The case was heard at Canterbury Crown Court
The case was heard at Canterbury Crown Court

Mr Foinette said: “Because they were vulnerable they believed they may have known her and lowered their guard – and it was then she reeled them in.”

He said the first victim was talked into buying her a £4,000 red Mini before she went on a shopping spree at top department stores, blowing another £766.

Mr Foinette added that the second scam was discovered when Lloyds Bank was concerned that one of its customers had withdrawn £3,000 one day – and returned the next day to take out another £7,000.

"You deliberately targeted two elderly and vulnerable men who, because of their condition, were unable to see through your lies" - Judge Adele Williams

Officials alerted members of his family and the victim revealed he was helping out “a lady in a red car” - and when family members went to his home, Carpenter was sat outside in her red car.

The prosecutor revealed that when the fraudster realised police were on to her, she posted cash through the letterbox of one of her victims, claiming she was repaying a loan.

Mr Foinette said that when questioned, Carpenter made an allegation of rape which had initially been treated seriously until she rang officers days later to retract it.

Kieran Brand, for Carpenter, said she had been “in dire straits” and had turned to one of the men she knew who had shown her “more pity than men of her own age”.

He said: “There are particular aspects of this case in which she is disgusted at herself. She made the allegation of rape but retracted it voluntarily after the dust had settled.”

Judge Adele Williams told Carpenter: “You deliberately targeted two elderly and vulnerable men who, because of their condition, were unable to see through your lies.

“Cruelly and maliciously, you falsely made an allegation of rape against one of your victims and in this day and age that’s a particularly serious matter.”

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