Laughton: Bogus builders jailed after defrauding vulnerable old man

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Two men have been jailed for defrauding a vulnerable elderly man from Laughton after pressurising him into withdrawing thousands of pounds from his account.

Patrick Maughan, 29, of Deacon Street in Swindon, Wiltshire, and Simon Collins, 30, of Molineaux Road, Shiregreen, Sheffield, appeared before Sheffield Crown Court on Wednesday 11th February to be sentenced after pleading guilty to fraud at an earlier hearing.

The pair said the money was for so-called repairs to his home, which were not needed and never carried out.

Investigating officer, Inspector Steven Brookes, said: “This was a calculated and extremely well-planned attack by organised thieves on a vulnerable member of the community, who was hoodwinked and browbeaten out of a large proportion of his savings.”

Police were called in July 2014 to a bank in Darnall, Sheffield, following concerns from staff that an elderly man was making requests to withdraw a large sum of money.

Enquiries revealed the elderly man had been approached earlier by two people in a van offering to do some work on the driveway of his home, in High Street, Laughton. He was told the work would cost around £1400.

On the day police were called, the victim reports two or three men returning to his home in the same van, stating the price had now gone up.

The men took the elderly man to his local bank in Dinnington and demanded he withdraw around £2500. Bank staff refused to issue the money so the man was taken to another bank in Rotherham, where he was again pressured to withdraw around £2500.

This time the money was released and then the man was taken to a further bank in Darnall, where again, demands were made for cash to be withdraw.

Bank staff grew suspicious and called police, at which point the men drove off.

Maughan and Collins each received a three-year jail term this week.