A WOMAN who harassed elderly and vulnerable victims for money has been jailed.

Claire Louise Hambleton, 35, formally of Mount Road, Barnsley, was investigated by officers from the Cudworth policing team, Barnsley Council’s Safer Neighbourhood Services, Berneslai Homes and Victim Care, under the ‘Joining Forces’ initiative.

Hambleton was found to be targeting elderly victims, many of whom were vulnerable and had no family or loved ones living nearby, harassing them persistently for money and other items.

At Barnsley Magistrates Court, she pleaded guilty to five counts of harassment against five separate victims. Hambleton was also handed a five-year Criminal Behaviour Order (CBO), which will come into effect upon her release from prison.

The conditions include her being prohibited from approaching any person within Barnsley to ask for money, cigarettes or anything else for personal gain. She is also prohibited from attending anyone’s address and asking for money.

Sgt Richard Wilson, from the Cudworth police team, said: “We and our partner agencies are determined to use all measures available to us to protect people from this sort of criminal behaviour.

“Hambleton exploited vulnerable members of our community and her harassment left them feeling scared to leave their homes for fear of bumping into her. This is completely unacceptable.

“I am pleased with the custodial sentence given to Hambleton at court and with the court’s decision to impose a Criminal Behaviour Order, which should offer some respite to our communities.

“It has been a tough period of time for the victims, who have been brave enough to speak out and report Hambleton’s criminality. With the help of our partners, we hope we have made a difference to their lives, whilst also preventing Hambleton targeting any new victims.”

Coun Jenny Platts, cabinet spokesperson said: “We’re pleased with the outcome of the case and hope it will restore peace to the lives of the victims.

“We want to make our communities a safe place for all of our residents and this is a further step towards that. We would like to thank all of the partners involved for their significant input into this case.”