Criminal conned St Woolos, Newport, man, 92, out of £5,000
A “DOORSTEP criminal” was given an 18-month prison sentence after duping a 92-year-old man into paying him £5,200.
Cardiff Crown Court heard how Trevor Connors, 34, cold-called doctor John Beckett on October 26 2010, offering to re-lay his drive and re-tile his garage, carrying out work that would have cost a maximum £750.
Prosecutor Martyn Kelly described how pressure was applied and Connors even drove Dr Beckett’s car so the pensioner could withdraw part of cash.
He said: “He was a doorstep criminal, people who make uninvited calls to people’s homes, targeting the vulnerable and elderly, charging exorbitant fees for a poor standard of work, with pressure applied for immediate cash.”
Mr Kelly said Dr Beckett- who died before last September’s trial- lived alone at Woodville Road, Newport, when two men knocked his door, informing him he had moss on his drive.
They offered to re-lay it for £2,600 and undertake work on his garage for a further £2,600, with Dr Beckett paying an immediate £600 deposit.
The men used the made-up names Jay Lee and Matthew, giving him a word-processed contract - Connors was later caught after a thumb print on this was found to be his.
Connors then drove Dr Beckett in his own car to HSBC Bank to withdraw a further £2,000 and they insisted he give them £2,600 more in cash for work on his garage.
Mr Kelly said Dr Beckett realised he had been conned when Connors phoned him again on November 8, saying he needed to pay another £2,000 for VAT.
He went to the police and subsequently, a Newport City Council trading standards investigator estimated the work would have cost a maximum of £750.
He said the driveway had not been relaid, but painted with a black liquid sealant, with pots and plants simply painted around.
Defence barrister David Webster said these are Connors’ only convictions of this type. The defendant of Trowbridge Road, Cardiff, was convicted of five fraud-related offences after a trial at Abergavenny Magistrates’ Court.
Judge Daniel Williams said: “It was not sophisticated, but it didn’t need to be. You have shown no sense of remorse at all.”
He sentenced Connors to 18 months.