A Mablethorpe woman who scammed hundreds of pounds off unsuspecting customers - after advertising non-existent mobile phones for sale - has been jailed for eight months after admitting the charge of fraud.
June Hill, 61, of George Street, advertised second-hand mobiles on the internet charging as much as £140 for each item, but once customers had paid they were fobbed off by her with a variety of reasons why their orders had not been delivered.
Kevin Jones, prosecuting, said 11 victims were stung by the scam which netted Hill £1,100 during a three year period up to October 2015.
He told the court: “She was selling these over the internet and having money paid into an account but not sending the items on to the purchasers. The money was paid into her account but nobody received anything.
“When customers contacted the defendant she would fob them off with various messages including saying that she had been involved in a road traffic accident. She also said that other members of her family had been ill.”
The court was told that Hill had a number of previous convictions for dishonesty going back to 1976.
Judge Simon Hirst, passing sentence, told Hill: “You have an appalling history of dishonesty. You were receiving money from people with no intention of ever sending the items to them. This is aggravated by your previous convictions.
“The sustained nature of these offences together with the number of victims and the planning of this means that in my judgement it is so serious that only a custodial sentence will do.”
Terry Boston, defending, said that Hill had tried to start a new life after marrying for the fifth time in 2002 but returned to crime after her father was diagnosed with terminal cancer.
He added: “She had no money and rather stupidly she fell back into her old ways. She is remorseful.”