A PENSIONER who conned three of her former Crewe colleagues out of thousands of pounds has been jailed for four months.
Sheila Jane Owen asked friends to lend her large sums of money and then repeatedly avoiding repaying them over a period of three years.
They finally called the police when she wrote out cheques from a bank account she had closed years before.
The 71-year-old, who had lived on Edinburgh Road, Wistaston, was led away in handcuffs by two security guards after the hearing at South Cheshire Magistrates Court in Crewe on Friday.
She admitted three separate counts of evading liability by deception, changing her plea from not guilty the day before she was due to stand trial.
Jane Large, prosecuting, described how Owen had approached former colleagues from Crewe Works, now Bombardier, where she had worked for 30 years as a clerk.
One couple, James Cooper, 64, and his wife Sheila, 65, from Crewe Road, Crewe, thought of her as 'part of the family' and lent her £5,000.
Another couple , Pat and Geoff Ollier, from Bowness Road, Wistaston, lent her £1,200, while Carol and Arthur Wood, from Winsford, lent her £2,500.
Miss Large described how Mrs Wood saw Owen as a 'big sister' during their time working together and had asked her to be godmother to their son.
When they met to hand over the money, Mrs Wood, in tears, said to Owen: 'I'm doing this out of love. Please don't take it if you can't pay it back.'
In all three cases, the couple did not ask what the money was for and Owen pretended to repay them with a cheque from the defunct Lloyds-TSB account.
Lee Hartshorn, defending, described Owen, who moved to Whitchurch for her retirement, was a lady of exemplary character and a stranger to the criminal justice system.
He said she had asked for the money after finding herself in financial disarray.
Sentencing Owen, presiding magistrate Barry Godfrey said: 'This is a serious case that has left people poorer and these offences warrant custody.'
He ordered her to pay compensation to each family of half what they lent her, totalling £4,350.