Pensioner fleeced of £1,100 in gardening scam

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A BULLYING conman forced an old man to make repeated taxi trips to his bank to withdraw more than £1,000 in a gardening scam.

A judge told Lee Davidson he had committed mean and despicable offences against the vulnerable 81-year-old man.

Teesside Crown Court heard the 27-year-old turned up at the man’s home on April 11 saying that he had called about some gardening work.

The victim said he already had two men working in his garden, and Davidson claimed to be from the same firm.

Davidson had taken along a gardener who was innocently working at the house next door, said prosecutor Aisha Wadoodi.

He ordered a taxi to take him and the pensioner to the bank where he took out £150.

The next day Davidson ordered a taxi to the pensioner’s bank where he withdrew £600 for a new greenhouse. But the next day he said the price had gone up by another £480.

The man also drew out £50 for himself but Davidson took all the cash including the £50 from the man’s pocket, totalling £1,150.

Davidson claimed he was elsewhere when he was arrested by police, but admitted fraud and theft when he was due to stand trial last month.

Michael Bosomworth, mitigating, said he wanted to pay back his victim from his wages of a new construction job.

“It does show that the defendant has finally seen the light,” he said.

Davidson, of Shelley Grove, Hartlepool, was given five months jail suspended for 12 months and 150 hours unpaid work.

He was also ordered to repay the full £1,150 in compensation to the victim at £200 a month.

Recorder Bernard Gateshill said: “It was mean and despicable, offences against an elderly and vulnerable person.

“It was not only mean, he was bullied as well.”