12:19PM, Monday 12 July 2021
A woman has been sentenced for 41 months imprisonment after stealing more than £100,000 from a vulnerable man in Slough.
Helen Keogh, 40, of 23 Grange Avenue, Coventry, pleaded guilty to five counts of theft at Reading Crown Court on Thursday (July 8).
Thames Valley Police said Keogh first met the victim in early 2014 when she was 34 and he was aged in his sixties.
When she realised the victim was both vulnerable and desperate for companionship, she began to manipulate the victim into giving her substantial sums of money and buying things for her.
Between September 6, 2014, and June 17, 2015, Keogh told the victim a range of stories relating to her ill health, her father’s ill health, the suggestion she was a victim of domestic violence and the need to put a deposit on a house in order to be safe to extract money and gifts from him.
These included £30,000 that Keogh claimed would be an investment in her business, £40,030 purported to be for a deposit on a house, £39,400 used to purchase a camper van and £4,000 purported to be for the purchase of a holiday home.
Keogh was repeatedly arrested, but the victim’s vulnerability meant that he told police he had given money to her freely, even when he appeared confused about what the money was actually for.
It was only when his savings had been completely depleted and family members were granted a power of attorney over the victim’s finances that Keogh was prevented from extracting further money from him.
Keogh was charged on 20 September 2019 and sentenced on Thursday after delays caused by the pandemic.
Investigating officer Detective Constable Zoe Batten of the CID team based at Slough police station said: “The victim in this case was extremely vulnerable, trusting and seeking companionship.
“Helen Keogh identified the victim’s vulnerabilities and exploited them for her own financial gain with no regard for the victim.
“Keogh stole money and gained items to the value of £115,609.
“This was money left to the victim by his deceased parents to ensure that he could live independently. His parents had always been actively involved in helping him with his vulnerabilities while they were alive.
“This is truly a shocking case where, despite knowing the victim’s vulnerabilities, Helen Keogh went out of her way to befriend and manipulate the victim for her own personal greed.
“It should be noted that due to the courage and hard work of the victim’s family, he has been safeguarded and Helen Keogh brought to justice.”
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