Southsea charity fraudster is jailed for five months

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A WOMAN who conned the elderly and the vulnerable out of money, claiming it was for charity, has been locked up.

Natalie Stewart, of Fawcett Road in Southsea, had gone door-to-door last June and July telling people she was going to take part in the Race for Life and convincing them to give her sponsorship money for it.

The 27-year-old pleaded guilty to 15 counts of fraud, and was jailed for four months, to run concurrent for each one. And she also admitted two counts of failing to surrender to custody, for which she was jailed for a further month at Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court.

The amounts she took ranged from £1 to £20 for a total of more than £150.

Thousands of people take part in the Race for Life each year around Southsea to raise money for Cancer Research UK.

At a previous hearing, Hugh Pringle, defending, had told the court: ‘The amount of money was unimportant compared to the nature of the offence and the vulnerability of the people targeted.’