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Shropshire serial fraudster jailed for conning her friends out of thousands

North Shropshire | News | Published:

A serial Shropshire fraudster who stole her close friends' life savings before feeding them a fake cancer "sob story" has been jailed.

Tracey Elaine Pascall

Tracey Elaine Pascall, 47, of Muxton, Telford, was jailed for two years yesterday after admitting 19 dishonesty offences, including forging cheques from her own daughter.

She borrowed the £4,500 that her college friends Wendy and Andrew Petford had tirelessly saved for their daughter's wedding by lying that bailiffs were knocking on her door.

When the couple asked why the money had not been paid back in 27 days as promised, she told them she had cancer and her trusting friends allowed her more time.

Prosecuting, Mr Phillip Beardwell, said: "She told them she had lung cancer.

"They told her to pay them back when she had come to terms with her diagnosis.

"They effectively gave her more time to pay after hearing her sob story."

Pascall then forged documents from Terry Jones Solicitors in Newport, Barclays and Tesco banks and the Post Office to assure them she would return the money, before she was arrested and questioned by police.

While on bail, the part-time events organiser stole cheques from her daughter Samantha Harris to pay for hundreds of pounds worth of flowers and balloons for a wedding reception at Hawkstone Park, near Market Drayton, and floral tributes for a funeral.

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Shrewsbury Crown Court heard yesterday that Pascall, of Brands Meadow, had a criminal record of 13 dishonesty offences dating back to 1990. She had been sentenced to 30 months in prison in 2007 for deception, after stealing from her father.

Defending, Mr Brendan Reedy, said his client suffered from depression and had fallen into arrears in her council tax and rent but had pleaded guilty .

"This is not an excuse for stealing people's hard earned savings," he said.

Sentencing Pascall for the 19 charges which included theft, fraud and using false documents, Judge Barry Berlin told her: "It was persistent and it was motivated by greed.

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"It was also in breach of the trust that your friends and your family did hold in you."

He added: "They trusted you and you saw them as an easy target."

He sentenced Pascall to 18 months in prison for each of the five charges relating to the Petfords to run concurrently and another six months for the 14 counts relating to her daughter, to run consecutively.

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