A "psychic" who conned nearly £1.3million off a student mourning the loss of her mum by claiming she could lift a curse has been jailed.

Sherry Tina Uwanawich claimed to be able to ward off curses and created an elaborate scheme to take money off the victim - who she considered a friend.

Uwanawich, 29, told the woman that her late mum had been cursed by a witch in South America, and it would cost a lot of money to free her.

During a seven year friendship the conwoman took $1.6 million from the Brazilian medical student, who was suffering from depression.

After her father died, she handed over hundreds of thousands of dollars of inheritance money, the Houston Chronicle reports.

Even after moving away, the victim continued to send money to Uwanawich, who eventually came clean about lying in 2014.

Uwanawich, who went by the name Jacqueline Miller, met the woman at The Galleria shopping mall in Houston and struck up a conversation.

The conwoman, who suffers from schizophrenia, took the student to a fortune telling parlour, and over coming months carried out "spiritual work" on several occassions.

She was jailed for 40 months and ordered to pay back the cash after admitting wire fraud.

Private investigator Bob Nygaard, who represented the victim, said: "The emotional abuse and financial decimation that my client suffered at the hands of this ruthless self-proclaimed psychic, namely Sherry Uwanawich, was abhorrent.

"I’m really proud of her for being brave and seeking justice instead of suffering in silence as many victims often do.

"If there’s one thing that I’ve learned from years of specializing in investigating confidence crimes it’s that anyone can be scammed by a professional con artist when going through a vulnerable time in his or her life."