A family has spoken of their outrage after a granddaughter who fleeced her grandma out of £20,000 life savings was ordered to pay back just £1,000.
Amy Rebecca Lindsay, 28, pleaded guilty to conning former Fulwood postmistress Margaret Camps out of £20,000, to spend on online gambling and gifts for her children.
Mrs Camps, 86, who has been setting aside money since she started work at Ribble Leathers aged 14, has had to rewrite her will and has been left with virtually no savings, since her granddaughter begged her for money, claiming she could not afford to feed her children and that bailiffs would be coming to take their TV.
Mrs Camps’ daughter and Lindsay’s aunt, Alison Tate, said: “She is just absolute dirt.”
Unemployed mum-of-two Lindsay, who lives in Lee Street, Longridge, started taking money from her grandma four years ago, claiming her own money had been taken from her bank account and had been transferred to Malta.
She went on to tell her grandma she needed money to pay the legal fees to get the money back and a cheque for £40,000 would come in due course.
Over the next three years she took £20,437, at one stage cheating her grandma out of £10,000 in less than two months.
Dan Thomas, prosecuting, said: “Every time Mrs Camps lent this defendant money she had a permanent nagging feeling in her stomach as she kept asking the defendant when she would get her money back and this defendant never gave her a satisfactory answer.
Ultimately, this defendant took a good portion of her grandmother’s life savings.”
Mark Stephenson, defending, said Lindsay had an addiction to online gambling which was “as easy as walking into a shop and buying a packet of crisps”.
He also said his client had been suffering from post-natal depression following the birth of her children, who are now aged four and seven.
Mrs Tate said: “Mum has been terrible over this. She has been under the doctor, she has lost weight. She always had her front door open and her second door locked but now she won’t answer the door.
“When she answers the phone she won’t speak until she knows who is on the other end because she is afraid it will be Rebecca.
“She has been a nervous wreck and until earlier this week she thought she was going to have to come to court.
“This has torn the family apart. The arguments between us siblings and the effect of what she has done.”
Lindsay was handed a 12-month community order at Preston Crown Court and was ordered to pay back £1,000 after the court heard her financial situation was still “dire”.