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Watch out for this heartless conwoman who preys on people in Newbury and Calcot

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WATCH out – she's back.

A veteran conwoman who preys on the good nature of local people has been at it again.

Amanda Basden, a former pupil at Park House School in Newbury, used to go by the surname Futcher.

Amanda Basden/Futcher (52508742)
Amanda Basden/Futcher (52508742)

She has more than 150 previous convictions and regularly begs for cash, pleading that she needs a taxi to visit her desperately sick baby in hospital.

In fact there is not, and never was, a sick baby.

But that never stopped her collecting £5, £10 and even £20 notes by heartlessly plying her fake sob-story from door to door or approaching well-meaning strangers in the street.

One elderly lady once offered her a lift instead.

Basden repaid her kindness by stealing her handbag from the back seat.

On that occasion the victim told the Newbury Weekly News they felt so sick at what had happened that they would think twice about trying to help anyone else, who might be in genuine distress.

Ms Basden has previously stolen a charity box from the Royal British Legion in Newbury.

Now aged 41 - pictured here in 2019 - she has since moved from Newbury and currently lives in Jimmy Green Court, Coronation Square, Southcote, in Reading.

At reading Magistrates' Court on Thursday, October 12, she admitted her latest bout of offending, using her favoured method of conning good natured passers-by.

She admitted trying to con Victoria York by claiming she needed taxi fare to get to hospital to visit her desperately sick child.

Ms Basden further admitted committing the same offence against John Morris, Donald Pickett and Kathleen Herbert.

All these latest offences were committed in Calcot on various days in April.

Magistrates ordered pre-sentence reports.

Ms Basden was meanwhile released on unconditional bail.

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