A couple who befriended and preyed on a vulnerable man to steal hundreds of pounds have been told their actions were “mean and despicable”.

Sean Keeble, 32, and Kimberley Wilding, 37, took advantage of the victim, who has mental health issues, to fund their drug-fuelled lifestyles. 

Norwich Crown Court was told they had deliberately gained his trust to get hold of his bank debit card that was used to make unauthorised withdrawals.

He was also persuaded to sign up and pay for mobile phone contracts but that the handsets had been used by the couple before later being sold or pawned at Cash Converters. 

Mobile phones paid for by the victim were sold or pawned in King's LynnMobile phones paid for by the victim were sold or pawned in King's Lynn (Image: Google)

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Jude Durr, prosecuting, said it had been an abuse of trust with the deliberate targeting of a vulnerable victim over a sustained period of time in 2023.

Wilding had known the victims for about 10 years and was aware that he had long-standing mental health issues.

“He helped them out with money occasionally as he felt sorry for them, but he later felt pressured and they took advantage of him,” added Mr Durr. 

Keeble, who has 18 previous convictions, had made regular withdrawals using the victim’s debit card with £1,500 being taken without permission.

The couple, of Hillen Road in King’s Lynn, initially pleaded not guilty to fraud by false representation.

However, Kebble later admitted fraudulent bank withdrawals and Wilding fraud over the sale and pawning of two phones. 

Sean Keeble and Kimberley Wilding were sentenced at Norwich Crown CourtSean Keeble and Kimberley Wilding were sentenced at Norwich Crown Court (Image: Newsquest)

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Recorder John Hardy sentenced Keeble to 12 months suspended for 18 months and Wilding to six months suspended for 12 months with a requirement she undertake a drug rehabilitation course. 

“The way you treated this man was petty, mean and despicable,” he said. 

The pair were also made subject of a five year restraining order banning contact with the victim.  

Stephen Spence, mitigating, said it had been driven by drug use. 

“They accept that these were mean offences and they both ought to hang their heads in shame,” he added.