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11 June 2014, 06:08
A Cambridgeshire hairdresser has been jailed for six months, for stealing £8,000 from an elderly customer during several years.
42 year old Michelle Bennett, from Willowbrook Drive in Coates near Peterborough, had been visiting the 95 year old woman since the late 1990s.
She used to be paid in cash; however the victim asked her to start writing herself out cheques in 2010 due to deteriorating eyesight.
The pensioner did not review the cheques Bennett was writing herself, leading to her pocket £8,000 more than what she should have been paid for services during the space of three years.
The fraud only came to light when the victim asked a friend to check her accounts.
Bennett was convicted of fraud by false representation by a majority of 11 to 1 following a trial at Peterborough Crown Court.
She was jailed for half a year, and has also paid £8,000 back to the victim.
Detective Constable Peter Hune, who investigated, said: "This was a huge breach of trust by Bennett who preyed on her victim's vulnerability.
The victim put complete trust in someone who she felt was her friend, but Bennett betrayed that loyalty for her own gain."