AN "UTTERLY despicable" con artist from Addiscombe who pretended her own mother was dead for money has been jailed. Sherene Simmons, 32, of Dalmally Road, was sentenced to 15 months imprisonment at Croydon Crown Court yesterday (Wednesday). She had previously pleaded guilty to 12 counts of fraud by false representation at Camberwell Magistrates' Court on May 22 . Simmons would turn up unexpectedly on her victims' doorstep in the early hours of the morning asking for help and money in order to visit a sick relative. In one case, she said her mother was in hospital with a heart attack and needed cash so she and her family could visit her. Many of her victims doubted the story but gave Simmons the money on the proviso she would return and pay them back. She never did pay them back but sometimes returned and asked for more money, saying her mother was even more ill or that she had died. A further three offences were taken into consideration by the judge. She targeted victims in Addiscombe, Ashburton, Croham and Shirley and typically used to take between £40 and £60. Simmons was eventually arrested in May after an investigation to locate her by Croydon CID which started in March. The judge called her "utterly descipable" in his sentencing remarks and he took three further offences into consideration along with the 12 counts of fraud by false representation. Detective Constable Scott Barefoot, from Croydon CID, who investigated the case, said: "Simmons preyed on the goodwill of her victims to con them out of money, when they thought she was in real need. I hope the fact that she will now be behind bars for a significant amount of time will give her victims some comfort."
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