A FRODSHAM woman who, along with a Frodsham man, defrauded her 85-year-old grandmother out of more than £20,000, has been jailed.

Charlotte Fisher, 31, acquired the bank details of Brenda Philips, who lives in the area and has Parkinson's and dementia.

Between September 7 and October 15, she and co-defendant Daniel Hayes, 28, of Marsh Lane, Frodsham, stole £21,040 from Mrs Philips through a series of bank transfers and contactless cash payments.

Hayes had also driven dangerously, while disqualified and without insurance on the day he was caught in Hedge Hey, Runcorn on October 14.

He was also arrested while out on licence for his previous conviction – a 38-month sentence imposed on February 22, 2017 for burglary.

At Chester Crown Court on Friday, December 7, Judge Patrick Thompson sentenced Fisher, who pleaded guilty at the first opportunity, to three years in prison, while Hayes, who pleaded guilty at the first crown court hearing, was sentenced to four-and-a-half years.

Prosecuting, Chris Hopkins said Fisher had come to her grandmother to ask for financial help and she obliged, going to a Lloyd's bank branch in September with the aim of transferring £1,000 to Fisher.

Mrs Philips gave Fisher her debit card and PIN and £1,000 was transferred on September 17 and another £1,000 on September 19.

In the following days a replacement debit card was ordered and delivered to Fisher, who knew the PIN and proceeded to transfer £3,900 in three separate transactions.

Hayes made eight bank transfers totalling £16,780, while four bank transfer attempts made by the duo were unsuccessful.

In addition, the pair made a number of cash withdrawals were made totalling £4,260.

In Brenda Philips's victim impact statement, made with the assistance of Charlotte Fisher's mum – also named Charlotte Fisher – the fraud had come as a shock at what her own grandmother had done.

It had caused her considerable stress and a GP had said her Parkinson's had been exacerbated since the offence.

She had already been losing confidence in her independence and now hardly goes anywhere, and had lost confidence in her ability to manage her own finances.

Fisher was of previous good character while Hayes had a long criminal record with a number of offences for dishonesty including burglary, Mr Hopkins added.

The dangerous driving offence came when he was recognised in the Runcorn KFC car park by police and drove a Ford S Max over a grass verge over a pavement which was normally busy.

He later crashed the car at the gates and wall of a residential home less than two miles away before being arrested at Hedge Hey, Runcorn.

Peter Barnett, defending Fisher, said the fraud came following a spiral of depression.

She has two children aged 12 and eight and in September 2016 financial arrears meant she lost the flat where she resided.

She and her children moved in with her brother, but things were difficult between them.

Mr Barnett added: "She pressed the self-destruct button. She left her job as a hairdresser after 15 years. For whatever reason she gave it all up and started living in hotels."

Fisher took the children initially but she started using cocaine and the children were taken via social services to be with other members of her family.

Mr Barnett said Fisher had felt remorse for her grandmother's poor health, but Judge Thompson interrupted to say: "I don't believe that. She just used her grandmother and exploited her in the most dreadful, dreadful way. She does not care about her grandmother."

Daniel Travers, defending Hayes, produced a letter written by Hayes's mother which referred to mental health issues exacerbated by being in a prison environment.

He was no longer a young man but one who is at a vulnerable stage.

Mr Travers added Hayes's mother had come to court to support him.

Judge Thompson said: "This has had a significant effect on the victim financially and a detrimental effect on her health. Her Parkinson's has been exacerbated and it has had a dramatic effect upon her confidence."

Fisher was jailed for three years and Hayes received three years, nine months for fraud. Hayes also received a total of nine months in jail for the driving offences, to be served consecutively. He was also banned from driving for three years, three months.