'Friend' left OAP with £3 in bank after stealing thousands
A BUGLE man befriended an elderly woman and then swindled her out of thousands of pounds leaving her with just a few pounds in her bank account.
Cynthia Foxall, 79, thought she had a friend in Mark Green, 52, and trusted him so implicitly that when money started to disappear from her account she did not consider he could be to blame.
The widow, who has lived on her own for 13 years and has mobility problems, was left with just £3 in her account after Green, of Minorca Lane, Bugle, made 24 withdrawals from ATMs using her card and pin number.
Green took up to £300 at a time between April 2 and July 10, 2012, eventually getting away with £4,180.
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On Wednesday at Truro Crown Court Green pleaded guilty to theft and was jailed for a year.
Phillip Lee, for the Crown Prosecution Service, said Ms Foxall "befriended this defendant and as far as she was concerned they were very close friends".
He said: "In June 2010 she went to the bank. When she saw statements for the period May to June 2012 she realised that several withdrawals had been made that she was not responsible for.
"Shortly after that she realised that in the period June to July there were further withdrawals."
Police identified Green as the thief using CCTV captured at the ATMs he had used, but he went on the run and it was not until a year later that officers managed to contact him.
In August 2012 he sent a letter to his victim that said: "I have been a fool and an idiot. Now I have got to sort this mess out. I am sorry for letting you down", but Mr Lee said Green made no attempt to repay the money and failed to turn up to several appointments with the police. When he was finally interviewed, he admitted taking the money.
Martin Pearce, defending Green, said he suffered from anxiety and depression, which was why he had missed a previous court hearing, and that fairly recently he had lost both his parents and a partner who was extremely dear to him.
Sentencing, Judge Peter Johnson said: "This was a mean, despicable offence you committed over a period of time which has had a marked impact on Ms Foxall.
"She is less trusting now than she was, concerned about who she lets into her house and she was worried about how she was going to survive financially."
Judge Johnson ordered no further action in respect of Green's failure to appear at court on September 3.