A woman who scammed her way into three tenancies in a row by supplying false references to agents has been jailed for two years.
Sharon Watts, 47, of St Just, Cornwall, not only lied her way into three properties but then refused to pay rent or leave, Truro Crown Court heard.
Watts also stayed in a series of hotels and bed and breakfasts without paying the bill.
On June 13, Watts, of St Just, admitted two charges of fraud by supplying false documents to estate agents while applying to rent properties.
She pleaded guilty to having supplied false details, including references and pay slips in support of a tenancy application to Miller Countrywide.
She also admitted supplying false references to Anthony Richards Property Services.
The local paper reports that the case had to be adjourned for a further charge to be added. Subsequently, Watts admitted another count of fraud by making a false representation to property owner Marilyn Rendell.
Mary McCarthy, defending, said Watts and her husband had difficulties with accommodation and she had asked for help from the council but had not received any due to the limited resources of the local authority.
She said that after Watts was released from prison she was likely to be given help with housing.
Judge Christopher Harvey Clark QC described Watts as a “thoroughly dishonest individual”.
After the case, landlords caught up in the frauds told of how how they had lost thousands of pounds and spent months trying to evict Sharon Watts and her husband Steve.
One landlady agreed to let her property to the pair, only to receive an urgent message saying: “Do not let them in; they have done this God knows how many times.”
She rushed round to the house but it was too late – the pair had already moved in.
There are two reports in The Cornishman newspaper about the case.