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Conmen Jailed For Stealing £100,000 from the Elderly

Police car

5:09pm 30th January 2014
(Updated 6:47am 31st January 2014)

Two conmen have today been jailed for a total of nine years after conning 48 elderly victims out of tens of thousands of pounds. A third man was given a suspended sentence and ordered to carry out unpaid work. The trio from Newark, Nottinghamshire, operated across the country and were arrested in Ripon by North Yorkshire Police after a resident became suspicious about the men’s claims and quality of work.

Today, at York Crown Court, William King, 35, of Sandhill Sconce, Tolney Lane, Newark was sentenced to six years’ imprisonment having previously pleaded guilty to charges of fraud by false representation and conspiracy to defraud. He was given three years for the offences highlighted below and three years for separate offences committed in Surrey and Kent but were delayed for sentence until today. 

Gavin James Findley, 30, of Elizabeth Road, Newark was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment after previously pleading guilty to charges of fraud by false representation and conspiracy to defraud.

20-year-old Todd Berridge now of Marshland Drive, Holbeach, Spalding, Lincolnshire (previously of Tonley Lane, Newark) was given 12 months’ detention, suspended for 24 months and ordered to carried out 180 hours of unpaid work. He had previously pleaded guilty to charges of aiding and abetting King and Findley.

His Honour Judge Shaun Spencer commended the officers who dealt with the case for their professionalism, tenacity and resilience in bringing the case to court. They include North Yorkshire Police’s Detective Constable Lesley Raffan and Detective Sergeant Fionna McEwan and Detective Constable Angela Galasso from Devon and Cornwall Police.

The gang targeted elderly people living in park mobile home sites in the UK, claiming that work needed doing to their property. They then went on to quote excessive amounts for this work which was then carried out on the spot. They “traded” under the name of Quality Park Homes and Modern Park Homes. The conmen took in total, around £100,000 from their unsuspecting and trusting victims.

Investigating officer, Detective Constable Lesley Raffan of Harrogate CID, said: “These men targeted vulnerable, elderly people and took advantage of their trusting nature. They acted with impunity across the country often targeting several people in one neighbourhood.

“Thanks to the vigilance of a Ripon resident who did exactly the right thing by calling  the police, the men were caught and brought to justice. They deserve every minute of their jail sentence which gives them ample time to reflect on their despicable crimes”.

“Our advice to anyone who is approached by cold callers is simply do not buy anything from them. They may appear charming and will try to talk you into agreeing to the work, but please do not be taken in by them.

“ If you need some work doing, always use recommended tradesmen. Speak to trusted friends, neighbours or family and ask them to help you select a company.”  

Remember, if you are not sure who is at your door, don’t open it. A genuine caller will not be offended by this. Not sure? Don’t open the door!



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