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By Ian Dipple Tuesday 02 April 2013 Updated: 03/04 12:40
A CONMAN who stole £200 from a Redditch pensioner's home while posing as a roof repairer has been jailed.
Billy Scarrott was sentenced to two and a half years after admitting carrying out the distraction burglary at the victim's home in Hollyberry Close in Winyates.
The 24-year-old of Evesham Road in Cleeve Prior near Evesham also pleaded guilty along with his father-in-law Cornelius Smith, 48 and of the same address, to fraud by false representation after appearing at Worcester Crown Court last Thursday (March 28).
The pair had turned up at the elderly man's home on March 29 last year and persuaded him to hand over £950 for roof repair work they never intended to carry out. While there Scarrott asked to use the toilet and sneaked into the pensioner's bedroom to steal the cash.
Smith was given a six month sentence, suspended for 12 months, for the fraud and ordered to carry out 250 hours of unpaid community work.
The pair were caught through a combination of forensic evidence and the actions of some genuine builders working nearby who spotted a white Transit van driving suspiciously slowly outside properties in Hollyberry Close and etched the registration number on a house brick.
Police were called to the area again on April 10 last year after receiving a report the van had returned there and arrested the pair after they drove into Hollyberry Close.
Det Con Tom Birchley, of West Mercia Police, said Scarrott and Smith had targeted the man because he was elderly.
"These conmen deliberately picked on an elderly man and had no intention of carrying out any repair work after taking his money. If that wasn’t despicable enough one of them then opportunistically stole more cash in what was effectively a distraction burglary after talking his way inside," he said.
"The seriousness of these offences is reflected in the sentences handed out by the court and will hopefully serve as a warning to other rogue traders and thieves who prey on the vulnerable.
"Elderly people are often targeted by this type of criminal and we would also remind neighbours to keep an eye out for anything unusual and report any concerns to police at the time. The importance of this is borne out in this case as it was the vigilance of some builders working nearby that helped us catch this pair."
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