Con victim welcomes crook’s jail term

Richardson Hodgson
Richardson Hodgson

A VICTIM of a former Hartlepool conman jailed for a £2m scam has welcomed his sentence.

Crooked businessman Richard Hodgson, 66, was locked up last week for running a property development company in York that left more than 100 people out of pocket.

He was previously jailed for nine months at Teesside Crown Court back in 1991 for deception and forgery relating to Hodgson’s Hartlepool firm Business and Professional Services.

A victim from that scam has told how he lost £44,000 after being conned by Hodgson, and welcomed his latest jail sentence.

The retired businessman, who asked not to be named, was persuaded to invest £44,000 in a pension scheme.

But Hodgson, formerly of Naisberry Park, Hartlepool, pocketed the money and gave him a forged policy certificate.

The victim said: “I was duped into giving him £44,000 to put into a pension for me.

“Two years later when I rang the pension company to see how my pension was doing, they didn’t have any record of me.

“He was totally convincing. He could walk into Buckingham Palace and introduce himself to The Queen, his patter was absolutely brilliant.

“He used to drive flash cars, wore expensive suits.

“He had the air of a top businessman – but deep down he was robbing Peter to pay Paul.”

Hodgson, of Sycamore View, Nether Poppleton, York, was jailed for four years and two months at Leeds Crown Court on Friday.

Along with Christopher Douglas, 48, of Clifford Street, York, who was jailed for three years and eight months, they persuaded customers to buy house purchase franchises but failed to deliver and victims lost their money.

Hodgson was found guilty after a trial of participating in a fraudulent business.

His earlier victim added: “I’m absolutely over the moon he has finally got a decent sentence.

“At the end of the day it’s Joe Public, the poor taxpayer who puts money away for a rainy day, that loses out.”