Train fare conwoman jailed for duping good Samaritans
A WOMAN who conned money out of good Samaritans in Churwell pretending to be stranded has been jailed.
Helena Seed approached people on the streets of Leeds or called at their homes, many of which were in the Churwell area, often pretending to be a student nurse working locally who had left her travel pass and purse at work and needed to borrow money to get a train home to Harrogate or Knaresborough.
Believing that she was someone genuinely in need, a number of victims took pity on her and handed over amounts varying from a few pounds to £60.
One victim even accompanied her to the train station and waited with her to make sure she was safe.
To make her pretence more convincing she would often ask for a specific amount for her fair and also gave her mobile number which they could ring at the time to show she was not lying.
She would promise to repay her victims the next day but they never heard from her and were unable to contact her on the number given.
Drug user Seed, 23, of Euston Mount, Holbeck, was arrested on Sunday and subsequently charged with four offences of fraud by false representation after being identified by victims.
She admitted the offences when she appeared at Leeds Magistrates on Monday and was jailed for 42 weeks. She asked for six other similar fraud offences to be taken into consideration by the court.
Insp Paul Sullivan, who leads Morley Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “Seed preyed on people’s good will and a number of her victims were elderly or vulnerable.
“She put on a very convincing act as a distressed young woman and exploited local people’s willingness to help someone out.
“We are pleased the court has recognised the seriousness of these offences and given her a custodial sentence, which we hope will provide some reassurance to her victims and the wider community.
“This case also provides an opportunity for us to remind people to be very wary of anyone who calls at their home or stops them in the street asking for money.
“Criminals like Seed can come across as very convincing and people need to be on their guard. If anyone is suspicious about someone who approaches them or calls at their home asking for money, they should refuse and contact the police immediately.
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