Woman conned neighbours: Said she was collecting for a headstone for tragic toddler
A mother-of-two has been jailed for fraud after she pretended she was raising money on behalf of a family whose toddler died when he tumbled out of a car.
Sarah Moore, 23, told people she was helping the family of Levi Brailsford, two, pay for a gravestone.
Earlier this week, Parentdish reported how the toddler fell from his grandmother's moving car on May 11 after undoing his own car seat and opening the door.
The tragedy was exploited by Moore who went from door to door clutching a newspaper article saying she was collecting on behalf of the family.
Altogether, Moore – who has a history of drug abuse - duped 16 people out of £34 cash.
At Bristol Crown Court, Moore, from Hartcliffe, pleaded guilty to fraud by false representation and was jailed for 30 months.
The mother, who has a two-year-old and a five-year-old, entered her guilty pleas and immediately leave the courtroom because she could not face hearing again what she had done.
This week, an inquest heard how Levi's grandmother heard the click of the door handle on her black Volvo 4x4 as she drove across a roundabout in Bristol but as she tried to pull over, the door opened and he tumbled out of the vehicle. He suffered serious head injuries and tragically died.
A statement from Levi's father Kevin Brailsford was read in court by prosecutor Peter Coombe. The dad spoke of his 'anger' at hearing just a few days before Levi's funeral that a female was going door to door collecting on his behalf.
Mr Brailsford said: "I knew she was collecting money for herself of the back of this tragic incident. I didn't think it was possible for someone to sink so low.
She is a con artist who preyed on people's good nature. Even at the funeral my mind kept wandering to this female who was collecting money in my boy's memory while I was burying him.
The court was told that Moore would con people, often pensioners, in their homes and in the street asking for donations.
After her arrest she told police she was doing it genuinely for a friend because she had wanted to 'give something back'.
The court also heard that while she was on bail for the fraud offences Moore acted as a 'honey trap' where she lured 'punters' to an area where they were robbed by two men. She pleaded guilty to one count of robbery on August 20.
Judge Martin Picton said: "She chose to utilise a terrible tragedy afforded to this family in the area they lived to raise money for herself through lying. The effect on this poor boy's family has been huge.
They were suffering enormously and they did not need this to be added to the volume of awful suffering they were going through. I have desperate sympathy for them.
Moore, was jailed for 20 months for robbery and 10 months consecutive for fraud - a total of 30 months.