OAP rat con trio jailed

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Jul 14, 2014 in Rat News | Subscribe

OAP rat con trio jailed

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A TRIO of conmen who made a pensioner fear eviction from his home in a bid to swindle £13,000 of his savings have been jailed.

Michael Black, 46, of Gainsborough Close, Salisbury, Richard Cooper, 20, of Salisbury Road, Odstock and Robert Cooper, 32, of High Street, Fordingbridge,
first targeted the vulnerable householder by bringing two pet rats to convince him his home was infested with vermin.

Southampton Crown Court heard they posed as pest controllers and said they needed to carry out urgent work at his house near Fordingbridge.

Prosecutor David Reid said: “He said he needed to put pellets down and it would cost him £350, ten times would it would cost in reality.

Black implied if this was not done there might be problems, possibly involving bailiffs or eviction then took the pensioner into Fordingbridge, where the money was withdrawn from two accounts.

He then came back, accompanied by Richard Cooper, and they pretended more work had to be carried out at an extra £3,000.

The pair took their victim to Ringwood for the withdrawal. The third man, Robert Cooper, was in regular phone contact with them at the time.

Black and Richard Cooper twice returned to the house asking for more cash. On both occasions the victim gave them £500.

A few days later Richard Cooper approached the pensioner in Fordingbridge, saying they needed more cash. A figure of £13,000 was mentioned. But the pensioner called in the police and they were
waiting when the trio turned up at his house.

Judge Gary Burrell QC said: “This was a well planned, well organised confidence trick specially targeting an elderly and vulnerable man.” He jailed Black for three years, Robert Cooper for
three-and-a-half years, and Richard Cooper for two years.

In mitigation, Peter Asteris said Black had pleaded guilty at the first opportunity to spare their victim the trauma of having to come to court and was genuinely remorseful. He had gambling debts
and was desperate for money.

Rachel Shearing said Robert Cooper, who denied approaching the pensioner in Fordingbridge, had never been to the property until his arrest or taken the victim to the bank.

Ms Shearing told the court: “He accepts what was happening. He is remorseful and finds it hard to believe he was involved.”

Lawrence Liolfi said Richard Cooper was remorseful, adding: “He wasn’t the main instigator and was susceptible to peer influences.”

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Article source: http://www.salisburyjournal.co.uk/news/9161742.OAP_rat_con_trio_jailed/

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