A trickster who posed as a homeless beggar to cheat a kindhearted well wisher out of £18,000 savings has walked free from court.
Serial liar Susan Geary gave her gullible male victim repeated sob stories about being destitute - claiming to urgently need to borrow cash on a daily basis for multiple bogus reasons.
The excuses included funds for bed and breakfast accommodation, food and other expenses - all to replace money and clothing that was stolen.
Other reasons were to repair a car for a friend to take her to medical and other appointments and to pay legal fees for three non-existent civil claims.
Cruel Geary even received money for taxi fares to go to the victim's home to dishonestly obtain even more money from him.
Leicester Crown Court was told that the naive victim, in his sixties, first met 32-year-old Geary when she was feigning homelessness, whilst regularly begging on the street near his local shop in Leicester.
He took pity on her and began helping her out with small amounts and after a month agreed to lend her larger sums of money from his ISA savings account.
Unaware she had the tenancy of a flat nearby, he offered his spare room - but she fobbed him off by falsely claiming to be staying at a mental health unit.
Text messages between the two clearly showed that most of the cash, usually about £60 to £100-a-day, was handed over as a loan and not gifted.
In fact, Geary blew all the money on class A drugs for her and her then boyfriend, which the victim would not have knowingly agreed to finance.
Even when Geary was remanded into custody on another matter, the defendant persuaded him to send her £50 to prison on three occasions.
The prosecution said the complainant fell for her lies but later became sceptical over some of her claims.
After seven months of parting with cash totalling £18,000, the matter came to a head on February 15 last year, when Geary turned up on his doorstep and the victim refused to hand over any more money.
Geary became angry and picked up a rock, threatening to smash his windows. To appease her he went to a cash machine and handed over £50 before notifying the police.
Geary, who has unrelated previous convictions for theft, pleaded guilty to fraud by false representation, between July 2017 and February 2018 - as well as threatening to cause criminal damage to the victim's windows.
The "sustained pattern of offending" left the victim struggling financially and he was confused and embarrassed by what happened. He had clearly liked Geary and was trying to help her out because he felt sorry for her.
There was no sexual involvement between them, the court was told.
Defence barrister, James Bide-Thomas, mitigating, said: "She's had considerable problems for a very long time and has made efforts to get away from the life she was leading.
"In November she went her mother's to get drug free but when she returned she ended up back with her ex-partner and spiralled back into drug use."
"There was nothing sophisticated about her offending. It's plain she needs drug treatment, it's also something she really wishes to do."
Judge Martin Hurst, sentencing said: "I'm going to put you on a community order with a drug rehabilitation programme.
"If you breach it you will come back here very quickly and I will have no choice but to lock you up."
The judge said of the victim: "He is a nice man. He took pity on you. You took advantage of him saying you were homeless when you weren't.
"He was a soft touch and you were taking £60 to £100 a day in order to fund your drug addiciton. He's retired, he can't replace that money and it's going to cost him a loss of £100 a week in his retirement.
"I'm pessimistic about how successful you will be because it's been reported (by the probation service) you're really not making any effort at all.
"We shall see if, within a month, you are making progress."
She was placed on a 7pm to 7am curfew and made the subject of a five year restraining order, banning any contact with the victim or going to the street where he lives.