A financial advisor who fleeced an elderly woman client of more than £300,000 to buy a luxury home in the south of France, has been jailed for five years.

Simon Sibthorp conned the woman into handing over more and more "loans" and even heartlessly asked her for more while she was seriously ill in hospital.

His dishonesty had began after her persuaded 80-year-old Rita Allan, to lend him a £35,000 bridging loan after he told her about the house he wanted to buy in the Languedoc region with his brother.

But he kept "borrowing" more and more from the wealthy spinster, believed to be worth £3m following inheritances, without any potentially incriminating paperwork.

"When she was ill, and seriously ill at times, you were still badgering her for money, even going to the hospital," said Judge Stephen Everett.

"You were hoping quite simply that she would die and without any paperwork you were hoping that although someone would come to you about the £35,000 loan…that you would be able to say these were gifts.

"I am quite sure that was your intention.

"It maybe she can bear the loss but that is not mitigation. It is precisely because she was wealthy that you in this way befriended her and targeted this vulnerable lady because you rather hoped you would be able to get this money out of her and there would be no come back.

"These are despicable offences," he said.

He told 53-year-old Sibthorp, of Gerard Road, Wallasey, who was earning £83,000 a year plus bonuses when he carrying out his scam, that he was "cold-hearted, arrogant and domineering."

He pointed out that Sibthorp had spent some of her money on holidays in France, costing as much as £4,500 and work on the house including £2,000 on electrics, £7,000 on a new bathroom, repairs to window blinds of £1,000 and £20,000 on furniture.

"In my judgement what you were doing was using this lady's money to feather your foreign nest and are hoping that after she had gone you would have this nice house with these nice things and it would all be yours and no-one could take it from you."

Judge Everett pointed out that Sibthorp, who was a financial advisor and stockbroker for reputable Liverpool firm Blankstone Sington: "You are a man without remorse."

He said that Sibthorp had duped his family as he had Miss Allan and they had nothing to be ashamed of.

Sibthorp's brother and son were sitting in the public gallery and the court that his wife is standing by him.

He was convicted by a Liverpool Crown Court jury of 19 offences of theft between November 2007 and October 2010 and the court heard that he still denies them.

Ken Grant, prosecuting, had told the court that Sibthorp became Miss Allan's account manager in 2000 and it was six years later that had lent Sibthorp the £35,000 expecting it to be paid back when he sold his late mother's house and came into funds.

But the houses he wanted to buy kept getting more expensive and he “borrowed” more and more, breaking explicit financial industry rules against accepting cash from clients.

Eventually he had fleeced her of £301,500 and when his bosses found out he was sacked for gross misconduct.

Miss Allan began civil proceedings, which Sibthorp contested and when his victim realised all the money had gone she notified the police Trevor Parry-Jones, defending, said that Sibthorp described himself as always having been "a fantasist who lived in a dream world and always trying to make out he was more successful and wealthier than he was."

He said that the house in France is being re-possessed, he owes more than his home in Wirral is worth and he has "no assets and no future. He and his wife have both been declared bankrupt."

He said that as well having two heart attacks he has also had mental breakdowns and has complex psychological issues. He has also been on anti-depressants for years.

The original loan, which was not dishonest, had fuelled his delusions.

He had intended buying the property and renting it out but it went wrong because of the property crash in France.