Fraudster who targeted 79-year-old Walney man is jailed
Last updated at 16:22, Wednesday, 12 September 2012
A FRAUDSTER who conned an elderly man into paying him for work, before driving him to a cashpoint to withdraw the money he demanded, has been sent to jail.
John Paul Ward was paid £950 in cash by 79-year-old Walney man, William Roy Johnson, on May 25, after turning up at his Osprey Drive home telling him he needed work doing to his roof.
However, the work he did was only worth £184, Furness Magistrates’ Court heard yesterday.
Mr Daniel Calder, prosecuting, told the court a fee of £320 was agreed for Ward to replace two of Mr Johnson’s roof cappings.
Soon after starting work, the defendant came back into Mr Johnson’s house to tell him the roof “could do with a clean”, and the pair agreed Ward would re-paint it and re-point the ridge tiles for an additional £450.
The defendant then approached his elderly victim a third time to offer damp-proofing for £250.
When he asked for the £1,020 in cash, Mr Johnson explained he did not have that kind of money, and offered to write a cheque.
Mr Calder said: “Mr Johnson said he felt rushed and overwhelmed.”
The court heard how Ward told Mr Johnson he would drive him to the bank, taking him to HSBC in Dalton Road.
He then left without leaving any notice of right to cancel contract, as is required by law.
Soon after, a surveyor checked Mr Johnson’s roof and said the work had not improved the tiling and was only worth a fraction of what he paid.
When arrested, Ward denied all knowledge of the incident, before admitting his involvement in a second interview.
Defending, Mr Gareth Price, said: “His behaviour was, I suspect, born out of panic rather than any deliberate thought on his part to mislead or avoid prosecution.
“He accepts that the work he carried out wasn’t to the value that he sought to claim.
“He accepts that an offer was made to drive Mr Johnson to the bank. He didn’t see this as being a demand, but he accepts that it amounts to an aggressive practice.”
Yesterday Ward, 25, of Leighton Street, Preston, appeared in court for sentencing, having last month pleaded guilty to engaging in a commercial practice which was aggressive, failing to give notice of the right to cancel contract and two counts of fraud by false representation.
The court heard he had two previous convictions of a similar nature – one involving a 94-year-old woman.
Sentencing Ward to 150 days in prison, half of which will be served in the community, District Judge Gerald Chalk said: “These offences were deliberately targeted at conning an elderly person who was vulnerable by the very nature of his age.”
First published at 09:42, Wednesday, 12 September 2012
Published by http://www.nwemail.co.uk
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bare in mind 150 days sentence is in fact only 75 days to serve as they only do half of the sentence until it reaches the 4yr mark which they then have to apply for parole. so justice? I dont think so... hopefully he will get padded up with someone who will abuse him like he did to the elderly.
you must be very proud off yourself 150 days it should have been 150 years you low life
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