JAILED: Wisbech woman who blackmailed and robbed vulnerable elderly victims

A WISBECH woman who blackmailed a 69-year-old cancer sufferer and robbed a stroke victim of her mobile phone has been jailed for four-and-a-half years.

Katie Coleman, 31, blackmailed, threatened and harassed the 69-year-old man, taking �2,000 from his savings over three months.

Cambridge Crown Court heard that Coleman would visit his Wisbech home, where he lived alone, and bang on the windows and door of his flat until he let her in.

She would force the victim to go to cash machines and demand money - threatening to get her brothers to beat him up if he refused.

The victim, who died of cancer in August, had come into contact with Coleman through his work but did not know her well.

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Coleman, of Southwell Road, Wisbech, denied blackmail right up to trial when she pleaded guilty.

She was jailed for two-and-a-half-years for the blackmail and another two years for robbing a 68-year-old stroke victim of her mobile phone. The sentences will run consecutively.

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The robbery, described by Judge Gareth Hawksworth as similar to a distraction burglary, took place on June 23 this year in Wisbech St Mary. The court heard the victim’s stroke meant the phone was her “lifeline”.

Detective Constable Jon Edwards, who investigated, said: “These were despicable offences where Coleman deliberately preyed on vulnerable victims.

“Sadly, the victim is not around to see the result, but I hope this case serves as a warning to anyone who thinks they can commit this type of crime and get away with it.”

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