A WOMAN acquitted of fraud over an alleged advertising scam was previously convicted of committing a heartless charity swindle, the Telegraph can reveal.

Amanda Bell-Heath posed as an Alzheimer Scotland fundraiser for six months, collecting hundreds of pounds from unwitting business bosses before she was finally caught.

The 54-year-old recently walked free from Greenock Sheriff Court after a charge that she'd duped local traders in a calendar adverts con was found 'not proven'.

Now it has emerged that Bell-Heath previously masqueraded as a bona fide charity worker in an organised sting — complete with fake ID and forged papers.

She targeted businesses in Renfrew and Erskine by turning up to collect cash donations but was arrested after a real charity worker became aware of her callous calls.

Alzheimer Scotland circulated a warning about her and she was arrested after a shop worker challenged her and produced a letter from the charity regarding fraudulent activity.

A court was told how brazen Bell-Heath maintained the pretence and insisted: "No, really. I am from Alzheimer Scotland. I'm here to collect the money."

But she left empty-handed and got into a car which was later traced after its registration plate was noted.

Bell-Heath carried out the scam between December and January 2014 and was convicted of the offence in March 2016.

Her Greenock trial heard allegations that she raked in full payments for marketing slots on a calendar that she never produced, and ignored Inverclyde traders when they tried to contact her.

The convicted conwoman's evidence was branded 'incredible' and 'unreliable' by Sheriff Derek Hamilton.

But the lawman declared that he had no choice other than to find the case not proven after a letter was lodged in court showing she had contacted a printing company about the calendar and received a verbal quote about a price.

A succession of Greenock and Gourock traders had told how Bell-Heath, of Old Inverkip Road in Greenock, vanished and never contacted them again after taking their hard-earned cash.

Her defence lawyer Charles Drummond told the court his client was 'a rotten businesswoman, not a fraudster'.

Bell-Heath insisted that she had tried to produce the calendar but had been let down by some traders who hadn't produced artwork for their adverts in time.

She said that she had started selling the advertising spaces for the non-existent calendar in March 2016 — which is around the time of her conviction for the charity scam.

Bell-Heath is set to face a contempt of court hearing later this month after twice failing to attend previous callings of the calendar case and not providing requested medical vouching for her absences.

It will be held on July 30.