A CON artist who targeted vulnerable women has been jailed for robbery and fraud.
Joseph O’Rourke fleeced one of his victims out of £2,000 by persuading the 55-year-old to let him borrow her bank card.
The 36-year-old from Leigh told the vulnerable woman, whom he had befriended, that he would use it to buy CDs for her, but he just made numerous cash withdrawals for himself instead.
While these deceptions were going on in May and June last year, Liverpool Crown Court heard, O’Rourke (who also goes by the surname McNaughton) also approached a vulnerable 56-year-old woman he saw walking with a frame in Leigh town centre.
He asked if she could give him some money so he could travel to Warrington but when she went to the cash machine to make a cash withdrawl, he barged her out of the way and stole £20.
The offence was caught on CCTV camera and the victim had already given police a good description.
His defrauding of the other woman came to light when the victim confided in a PCSO.
O’Rourke was sentenced to 34 months in prison.
After the hearing DC Adam Jones said: “The offender in these crimes showed absolutely no consideration to the victims as he targeted the elderly and vulnerable in Leigh town centre.
“He used persistent and aggressive begging techniques to pressure the victims into giving him money.
“The victims in both crimes felt they couldn’t say no due to his persistence and there vulnerability. These types of crimes have a long lasting effect on the victims and the community.
“Safeguarding Vulnerable People is a Force priority for Greater Manchester Police and we will target offenders committing these offences using legislation and Court Orders to prevent their criminality from harming further victims “