73 year old Anthony Powell of Harrow Road in Gillingham, Kent, wrote out three blank cheques to himself in the space of four months after befriending 90 year old Hester Herby.
He was said to have taken advantage of her age and confusion, and forged her signature to release an investment policy, a court heard.
Powell even claimed to be her next of kin when she was in hospital following a fall, and following his arrest branded Mrs Herby manipulative and a heavy drinker who had 'made advances' towards him.
While a judge accepted Powell had not embarked on his friendship with Mrs Herby with the aim of conning her, he said he had 'targeted' her vulnerability.
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Pensioner jailed for 'exploiting' elderly widow