A CRUEL 67-year-old serial fraudster who fleeced a lonely west Cumbrian pensioner out of more than £75,000 has been prosecuted again.

Gambling addict Phyllis Woods was already serving a 40-month jail term for defrauding a Workington man in his 70s when police caught up with her for similar offending, this time involving an elderly victim who lives in the Bolton area.

She was jailed for another eight months.

Court records show that she conned her latest victim out of £500 after persuading him to hand over the cash by claiming she would use it to take him on a cut-price cruise. She admitted a second fraud against the same victim.

She told the man she would spend £500 of his money on computer equipment which she claimed she would be able to sell on for a profit.

In both instances, the claims were entirely false.

Woods, of Smithills Croft Road, Bolton, committed the offences between 2016 and 2017 – the period when she first first met her victim in Workington through an online dating website.

In March, for her offences in Workington, she was given a 40-month jail term.

When she appeared before magistrates in Greater Manchester last week, she was given another eight months’ jail, though the court ruled the sentence will run concurrently to her sentence for the Cumbrian offences, meaning that she will not spend any longer in prison.

Court papers record that Woods – who has several versions of her name – was jailed for what magistrates said were frauds similar to ones she had previously committed in west Cumbria. Magistrates also noted that the offences were committed over a prolonged period and constituted a “breach of trust”.

In the earlier case, a Carlisle Crown Court barrister described Woods’ offending as “evil”.

She offended to fund her addiction to gambling, and even took precious family heirloom jewellery from her victim, who had been convinced that they were in “a loving relationship”.

“What in fact was happening was he was being targeted as a source of funding for her gambling-addicted and lavish lifestyle,” said prosecutor Brendan Burke.

Woods told the pensioner that her bank accounts had been frozen because of expensive United States divorce litigation.

Mr Burke said: “In response, the man gave her large sums of cash for imaginary legal bills, clothing, pretend holidays and even non-existent cancer care as she “invented a fictitious course of treatment at a private hospital”. Much of the money was squandered in casinos.

“Payments then accelerated for the fictitious cancer treatment when she told him she was about to lose her place at the hospital. He was being asked to pay up or face the prospect of her dying.”