A ‘conniving character’ who left her elderly great aunt penniless after plundering her finances has been jailed for six years.

A judge told selfish Stephanie Colasanti she used the 84-year-old’s bank account ‘as your own piggy bank’ after the relative had inherited almost £500,000.

The 31-year-old lived of luxury with expensive foreign holidays, shopping sprees, leasing a nice car and funding her drug use, despite have taken voluntary redundancy.

Then when the money ran out her victim asked if she could move into the flat she had bought and given her great niece a half share in.

But after Colasanti, of Warneage Green, Wanborough, refused saying she was having problems and needed her own space, the pensioner tried to kill herself.

Colasanti, who pleaded not guilty, was convicted of two counts of fraud following a trial last year and even now claims her victim ‘framed her’.

The jury heard how after Glenda Bennett had come into £473,000 she showered gifts on her great niece, even giving her a share in a flat. But unknown to her partially-deaf great aunt the defendant started to use her telephone banking to fund her lifestyle.

And she also claimed she was spending huge sums renovating the flat and on Open University fees when in reality she was keeping the cash for herself.

When the octogenarian found her bank accounts had been cleaned out she initially thought she had been the victim of an online fraud.

But when the finger pointed at Colasanti the defendant tried to persuade the doting aunt she was mistaken by playing on her emotions.

She even phoned her and surreptitiously recorded the conversation, despite being warned off by police, in what the judge said ‘illustrates your conniving character’.

In her defence Colasanti, who represented herself after sacking two lots of solicitors, said she was not guilty and sought to appeal.

She said she had suffered mental health problems and had issues in the past but had not done anything dishonest.

All of her holidays were paid out of her wages, she said, as she worked hard in a 50-hours a week position.

Jailing her Judge Jason Taylor QC said “You received approximately £250,000, not all of that was fraudulently.

“Your great aunt was extremely generous with you and gifted you money. That generosity was not enough for you. You used your great aunt’s bank account as your own piggy bank.

“You sought to blame your then boyfriend for causing some of the debt or your great aunt for spoiling you. Once again it shows your inability to take responsibility for your own actions.”

He said in 2015 she received £74k, just over £144k a year later and just over £2,500 in 2017. "Not all of that was fraudulent. I am satisfied to the criminal standard at least £175k was. I am also satisfied the reason the fraud stopped was the money ran out.

“I do not consider that you are genuinely remorseful. It is noteworthy that the experienced probation officer has reached the same conclusion.

“I consider you manipulative, self-centred, and somebody who has no regard for anybody but yourself.

“You are motivated solely by greed.