South East Wales

Woman lied about amputation to con £50k from ex-boyfriend

Cardiff Crown Court
Image caption Cardiff Crown Court heard victim Colin Wilton felt betrayed by his ex-girlfriend

A woman who lied to her ex-boyfriend about having both legs and an arm amputated has been jailed for three years after conning £50,000 out of him.

Linda Vaughan, 42, convinced Colin Wilton to send her the cash after saying she had her limbs removed due to blood poisoning while on holiday.

Vaughan, of Cwmbran, Torfaen, pleaded guilty to two charges of fraud at Cardiff Crown Court on Friday.

Recorder of Cardiff Eleri Rees called it "an elaborate thread of lies".

Vaughan told 64-year-old Mr Wilton she needed help with medical bills and convinced him to transfer a total of £49,225 in 201 transactions between 2012 and 2016.

The fraudster, also known as Linda O'Connor, was fit and well and used the cash to fund her lifestyle.

The couple got together in 2009 and split up in 2011 but stayed in touch and Mr Wilton sent her a happy birthday message in 2012, which is when her deception began.

She initially said she needed £1,600 to fly home so he transferred £1,000, followed by £1,500 two weeks later.

'Madly in love'

He even offered to drive and collect her, but she refused and would not say where she was.

Over two days in July 2012, he sent two payments totalling £6,700 which he withdrew from his pension fund.

He believed it was for medicine, food and accommodation and thought he would be repaid.

Vaughan was caught in April 2016 when Mr Wilton recognised her profile on a dating website and reported her to police.

She claimed Mr Wilton was "madly in love" with her and told police he was her lodger and there was no sexual relationship.

Asked why she made up the amputations, she said Mr Wilton was "shallow" and she wanted him to lose interest in her.

Mr Wilton said he was "easily led" when his marriage was coming to an end before he met Vaughan and was now "finding it hard to trust a woman with my heart and my wallet".

Recorder of Cardiff Eleri Rees said: "This was an elaborate thread of lies. They blinded him to what might have been obvious to an observer.

"You were taking full advantage of his feelings for you."

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