Deaf North Hykeham pensioner conned out of £10k by rogue trader pair

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A deaf North Hykeham pensioner was conned out of £10,000 after being targeted by a “rogue trader fraud.”

The 70-year-old man paid out the money after being repeatedly visited by two teenage workman from Nottinghamshire, Lincoln Crown Court heard.

Lisa Hardy, prosecuting, said the scam began in August 2015 when the pensioner agreed to pay the boys, then aged just 18 and 15, a sum of £120 to clean his drive.

Miss Hardy said the pair then made repeated visits to the man’s bungalow over the next few months claiming at various times that his roof needed cleaning or that there was a hole in his roof and tiles missing.

The owner eventually became suspicious and during their last visit told the teenagers to return the next day by which time police were waiting.

In a victim impact statement the pensioner said the stress of the offence had aggravated his angina and his savings had been reduced.

Anthony Ward, now 20, of Hucknall Lane, Nottingham, admitted a single charge of fraud between August and November, 2015.

The 17-year-old boy, who can not be named because of his age, pleaded guilty to the same charge.

Edward Duncan-Smith, mitigating for Ward, said he had pleaded guilty on the basis he was being directed by an older man.

Mr Duncan-Smith told the court Ward had grown up greatly since the offence and had a job waiting for him.

Andrew Molloy, mitigating for the 17-year-old, said at the time of the offence he was at age where he did what he was told.

Passing sentence Recorder William Harbage QC said it was accepted by the prosecution that an older man was directing the fraud.

Recorder Harbage told the two defendants: “You got yourselves involved in what is commonly known as rogue trader type fraud.”

The judge added that a victim who was profoundly deaf and with poor speech had been targeted.

“The approach started with a small task when he agreed to pay £120, you went back many times. The demands escalated, it seems he paid out at least £10,000.”

Ward was sentenced to 12 months youth detention suspended for two years and ordered to complete 150 hours unpaid work in the community.

The 17-year-old was sentenced to a 12 month youth rehabilitation order and told to complete 100 hours unpaid work in the community.

Recorder Harbage finished by telling them: “You boys got involved in something serious, learn your lesson and don’t come back again.”

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