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Lisa Harper and Paula O’Connell jailed for stealing from elderly man

By KentOnline reporter

Two women have been jailed after pleading guilty to stealing from an elderly man in Chatham.

Lisa Harper, 42 and Paula O’Connell, 53, who are both from Chatham Grove, were each jailed for one year and four months after they admitted one charge each of theft.

The court heard how between Saturday, July 8, and Monday, July 10, 2017, O’Connell demanded money from the victim inside his flat on two occasions, with Harper also in the flat on the first occasion.

Lisa Harper. Credit: Kent Police
Lisa Harper. Credit: Kent Police

It is understood they got away with only £1.

The victim, who lives near the two women, received a knock on his door at 2.30pm on Saturday, July 8. When he opened the door Harper and O’Connell were outside.

O’Connell asked the man for money to pay her electricity bill.

The victim went to his kitchen to get a little money before realising that the women had followed him into his flat.

Harper then started smoking inside his home before she helped herself to more money, they then both left the flat.

Feeling upset, the victim told his carer who reported the incident to the police.

The following day - Sunday July 9 - at around 8:30pm, O’Connell returned to the victim’s flat once again demanding that the man pay all of her electricity bill to which the victim said no.

She pushed past the victim and started looking around his flat for money.

O’Connell then told the elderly man to get dressed and said that she would take him to a nearby cashpoint so he could give her money, however, the victim stood his ground and refused.

O’Connell then left the flat.

Paula O'Connell. Credit: Kent Police
Paula O'Connell. Credit: Kent Police

On Monday, July 10, at around 10.30am a police officer was on their way to the victim’s flat when they saw a woman talking to the elderly man through a flat buzzer.

The officer questioned the woman, believing she was the man’s carer, however, she gave her name as Lisa, before quickly walking away and shouting to another woman called Paula.

These women were later identified as Lisa Harper and Paula ‘O Connell.

Investigating officer, Detective Constable Kati Edge, said: "O’Connell and Harper preyed on a man they knew to be vulnerable and used this to their advantage in order to steal from him.

"The victim was able to stand his ground and if he hadn’t then he could of ended up handling over a large quantity of money, so I commend the victim’s courage to stand up to her.

"Both women have now been jailed for these offences, ones which I’m sure if they had not been caught, would have only become worse over time.

"If anyone is reading this and feels they are in a similar situation then please do contact Kent Police as we will always investigate offences thoroughly and will always seek to bring those responsible for crimes to justice."

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