A PENNILESS 22-year-old Quarry Bank mum who moved into a smart, detached house after conning people into believing she had nearly £2million in savings has walked free from court.
Bethany Pole who trashed the £260,000 Kingswinford property before her fraud was rumbled was a "fantasist" living in a Walter Mitty world, Wolverhampton Crown Court heard, and she continued to believe she was going to inherit a massive amount of money.
The bid by the struggling mother-of-two to get the house was doomed to failure because it was clear documents she produced to confirm her wealth were fake and it was a "very amateurish attempt at fraud" - the court heard.
Gurdeep Garcha, defending, said it was "very crass" offending and any solicitor or estate agent taking a realistic view of what happened would quickly have realised Pole was a young woman with no funds.
Judge Martin Walsh told Pole: "These are unusual offences that have all the hallmarks of a fantasist" adding she had tried to buy the house when she did did not have any money.
It was a "troubling" case, added the Judge, because Pole remained deluded about the chance of her picking up an inheritance.
The con by the fraudster left the owners of the house in Moss Grove in difficulties and in the end the property was repossessed and sold on by the bank.
Edward Soulsby, prosecuting, said Pole approached estate agents and said she wanted to buy the house which had been put on the market by a family who had gone to Florida.
The asking price for the house was £300,000 but Pole put in an offer of £250,000 which was accepted and she then asked if she could be allowed to move in immediately on a rental basis while the deal was being finalised.
She issued three £900 cheques to cover the rent while living in the house but they all bounced and she was then asked to provide documentation to confirm she had money in the bank.
Pole produced one statement that said she had £565,000 in an account and then came up with a second that revealed she had a balance of nearly £2million.
"But she had no money at all," said Mr Soulsby who told the court a number of solicitors had already washed their hands of her business because of her conduct.
He said during the three months she was in the property Pole came up with a number of delaying tactics before finally being arrested when she told police she had made the bank statements on her computer.
When she was thrown out of the property she had failed to pay £2,700 rent and she left behind £10,000 worth of damage having ripped up an expensive floor.
Pole, of Old High Street, Quarry Bank, admitted dishonestly making a representation that she had money to buy the house and making an article for use in fraud and she was placed on Supervision for three years.
Mr Garcha said there had been talk of Pole due to inherit money from an aunt but nothing had been forthcoming - adding: "This was plainly a Walter Mitty situation."
The court was told the house had finally been sold for £260,000 by the bank but it was not known just how much of that money would have gone to the former owners.