A convicted fraudster who stole the £4,000 life savings of a pensioner and her son has been jailed for nine months.

Terry Lawrence, aged 23, of Wolfenden Street, Bolton, demanded the cash from his 82-year-old victim Patricia Loughlin and her son Martin.

Lawrence and an older man had visited the pair in October 2011 to demand £4,000 for some minor gardening jobs they, and a friend, had done at the pair’s home in Nelson.

The court heard that Lawrence, had become forceful, and made Mr Loughlin hand over his £2,000 lifetime savings.

Lawrence then followed Mrs Loughlin upstairs and took a paper bag from her containing £2,000, which were her lifesavings.

The defendant, a former drug addict with a number of aliases, has been previously jailed for pretending to be a police officer. He has 16 previous convictions.

Lawrence admitted two counts of theft at Burnley Crown Court, and at his sentencing, the court heard he was a father-to-be, engaged to be married, and was a changed man.

Defending, Bernice Campbell said he had been in custody, got drug-free and come out a better person, adding: “He’s a different person than the person that did that act a year-and-a-half ago.”

Sentencing, Judge Andrew Woolman told Lawrence the offences were deeply unpleasant.

He said: “It really is a very mean offence indeed and must make the victims feel extremely angry and upset, losing their lifesavings."

Judge Woolman added that it may well be that time in prison had cured him of his drug addiction, but these offences had now caught up with him.

He added: “I would not be doing my public duty if I were not to mark these offences by an immediate custodial sentence."