A mother and daughter who tricked elderly people into thinking they were charity workers so they could steal from them have been jailed.

Denise Lawrence, 45, and her daughter Dannika Brown, 22, entered the home of a 73-year-old woman in Lukin Crescent, Chingford, on July 23 last year after asking her for a donation.

Having distracted the victim by asking for a drink of water, Lawrence stole the victim’s purse and later took money from her bank account.

The next day, at a property in nearby Chingford Avenue, Brown stole the handbag of a 76-year-old woman.

The thieves were arrested three days later and charged on July 31 after a baseball cap found in Lawrence’s home was used to identify her by one of the victims.

After pleading guilty on Friday, Lawrence of Walmer Close in Chingford, and Brown of Lea Bridge Road in Leyton, were each sentenced to four years and six months for burglary.

Lawrence was also sentenced to four years for two thefts totalling £450 at Snaresbrook Crown Court.

Brown received a two year sentence for the theft of £450.

All sentences will be served concurrently.

Detective Constable Ryaz Toofail said: “Lawrence and Brown worked as a double act preying on vulnerable and elderly people within the community taking advantage of those kind enough to donate money to charity.

“The victims were willing to help two women who appeared to be in need of help.

“Both Lawrence and Brown did not care for those that they stole money from nor consider the affect this would have on the victims and their families.”