A prolific thief who preyed on vulnerable men has been jailed

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Kirsty Rank was sentenced to 27 months in prison after appearing at Durham Crown Court.

The 29-year-old was sentenced for attempted robbery and two thefts after targeting an elderly man in Spennymoor, over five days between March 27 and April 1.

The court heard how Rank, of Newton Street, Ferryhill, persuaded the man she had put £500 into his bank account before taking him to the cash machine to withdraw several smaller amounts.

By the fifth day she had woken the man up at 1am and demanded they go back to the cash machine.

The man obliged and accompanied Rank to the cash machine but when he could not find his bank card, Rank became aggressive and pushed him into a wall to search his pockets.

Thankfully a woman passing in her car noticed the incident and stopped to help, calling the police.

An investigation revealed Rank had not deposited any money into the man’s account but had withdrawn more than £1,800.

Ferryhill Inspector Mike Sammut said: “Kirsty Rank is a prolific offender and will often prey on vulnerable older men who are too embarrassed to come forward when they fall victim to her.

“It is reassuring to see the courts taking crimes against vulnerable members of the community seriously, and welcome the sentence imposed.”