Conman told victim was easy target

David Morris pictured leaving Hartlepool Magistrates Court.
David Morris pictured leaving Hartlepool Magistrates Court.

A CALLOUS conman targeted a vulnerable pensioner after being told by another cruel scamster he was an “easy target”.

David Morris was snared by a neighbour after fleecing his victim of £35 by claiming he was owed the cash for cleaning his windows.

Remarkably, Norris, 30, who has 31 convictions for 50 offences, walked free from court despite magistrates being tole he went to his victim’s home after being tole he was easy prey.

Today the victim’s family have revealed that 67-year-old has been repeatedly targeted by conmen who have fleeced him out of thousands of pounds.

In one such con, bogus builders persuaded him to hand over almost £2,000 to have a garden wall at his home in Seaton Carew repaired - but the work was never done.

He was targeted so many times, his family had to install CCTV cameras in his home.

But after this latest scam his family are now looking to rehouse the pensioner in sheltered accommodation to protect him.

Hartlepool Magistrates’s Court heard how Morris, of Ilkley Grove, Hartlepool, was cornered when he tried to target the pensioner on December 29 last year by a suspicious neighbour who contacted relatives.

He was still being detained when the victim’s brother-in-law arrived - and brazenly tried to front out his scam by telling them he was owed £35 for five weeks worth of window cleaning.

But police were called and he was arrested.

Lynne Dalton, prosecuting, told the court: “in police interview Morris said ‘I was told if you go to this address and ask for money for cleaning windows he pays you’.

She added: “He visited a friend who informed him that the victim was an easy target and you could get money out of without any bother.”

Mitigating, Neil Taylor said: “This is a fairly unhappy case all round - without a shadow of a doubt this gentleman has been targeted.”

He said Morris had been “encouraged” to go to the address.

Mr Taylor added: “It won’t come as a surprise, probably to the court but certainly to the police, that my client has gone round and done it at the behest or certainly of another the person.”

He added there was no confrontation with the victim, the money was recovered and Morris had shown remorse.

Recovering heroin addict Morris, who had a £10-a-day habit, amazingly walked free from court after admitting fraud.

Hartlepool magistrates sentenced him to 18 weeks in prison, suspended for two years, with an 18-month community order and 12-month drug rehabilitation requirement after conceding his involvement was a single incident.

Chairman of the magistrates’ bench Keith Kitching said: “This gentleman was targeted by yourself and, we begin to understand, by others, so much so that his family have had to install CCTV to his house. “He was targeted by yourself and he was a vulnerable victim.”

Speaking after the hearing, one of the victim’s family slammed the sentence. He said; “This person is the lowest of the low. To target vulnerable people like this, he should have gone to prison.

“He is 67-year-old, he lives on his own and he is vulnerable. He is very trusting and believes what people say to him.

“He has obviously been seen as an easy touch by these people who have targeted him.

“As a family, we cannot keep an eye on him 24/7, but we feel there is no other option but to get him into sheltered accommodation where he will be safer.

“But to have to take his independence away from him is shocking, it really is.”