A 31-year old woman identified as Lynsey Mitchell,from Swindon in England had been living a life of luxury and extravagance, expending whooping sums to hire limousines, spending her days in expensive guest houses, spoiling her friends to concerts, and had plans in the offing to acquire a comfortable house after defrauding her fiance, Richard Fortune and his brother, Derek Fortune.
During that period, the two brothers questioned suspicious activity on their accounts, and in May 2013, Derek Fortune was prompted him to check his account only to discover that his £90,000 savings had finished leaving him with only £2,495 overdrawn on his current account and only eight pence in his savings account.
When she felt that her actions must have been noticed by the brothers, Mitchell fled to Czech Republic with claims that she went to take care of her father who was down with a terminal disease.
At a hearing at the Swindon crown court, it was revealed that Mitchell had drained the bank accounts of the two brothers without their knowledge by stealing their bank cards and emptied their savings accounts and even took a loan of £11,995 using the name of her fiance family.
Initially, her fiance had given her some money after she claimed that she suffered series of serious illnesses, including cancer and liver disease.
On realizing that Mitchell had deceived him and further defrauded him, Richard Fortune got so devastated that he suffered a heart attack and was taken to a hospital where he is currently waiting for a transplant.
Meanwhile, in reaction, Derek Fortune wrote a victim impact statement to the court which said, “This money I will never be able to replace and was the savings of my life’s work.
“I am on the point of losing my job where I have worked for 20 years because I have had to take so much time off to visit my brother.
“I fear that if I lose him through ill health I will not have anything worth living for. This seems to be a living nightmare which just gets worse. There is nothing left.
“Despite what happens to her today these debts will stay with us, and I can’t see any light at the end of the tunnel.”
Speaking in court also, the prosecutor, Claire Marlow said, “Derek and Richard Fortune live together in what was their parents’ house.
“They have a frugal lifestyle, and are unsophisticated in the ways of the world.
“They have not embraced the technological age and until they met this lady were inexperienced in relationships.
“She would tell them she was suffering from life-threatening illnesses including liver disease and cancer and at times was receiving treatment at Great Ormond Street Hospital.
“Enquiries revealed the money was being used on limousines and staying in a number of hotels as well as taking friends to concerts and at one stage she was in contact with an estate agent about buying a house.”
A 15-count charge was brought up against Mitchell by the court on Friday,October 24, 2014, after which she was jailed after she pleaded guilty to them.
While delivering his verdict, judge Peter Blair QC said, “You have utterly destroyed the lives of two men, who were vulnerable through their lack of sophistication in the modern world.
“They have months and years of misery ahead of them and you have devastated them with these actions.”