An elderly couple from Haxey in North Lincolnshire were conned out of over £7,000 by David Smith from Warwickshire, who was sentenced to two years in prison at Leeds Crown Court on 20 October for this crime and many others.

Mr Smith told the couple aged 83 and 74 that he would carry out works to their garden, which he didn’t. He offered to sell them peat and said he would lay astro turf, but the couple never saw any of these materials and when they questioned Mr Smith he said they were kept elsewhere. He kept asking the couple for more money to complete the gardening work but never did. They paid him a total of £7,366.

Mr Smith has conned numerous people up and down the country out of thousands of pounds, which was investigated through North Yorkshire Council’s Doorstep Crime Project.

North Lincolnshire Council’s Trading Standards team took over the case for the final prosecution element so that all the cases would be heard at the same time.

David Smith pleaded guilty to three charges of Fraud by False Representation.

Sentencing is complete but a further hearing will take place for the Proceeds of Crime (POCA) to penalise Mr Smith financially for all of his criminal activity.

Cllr Neil Poole, cabinet member for Neighbourhoods, said:

“This is a very saddening case where a thoughtless man has decieved of an elderly couple and conned them out of money. They put their trust in Mr Smith, and he has taken full advantage of their vulnerability.

“It is totally unacceptable for people to think they can get away with this. Not only has Mr Smith conned this couple in Haxey, but he has taken thousands of pounds from other people across the country without any thought as to how it will affect them. He has knowingly targeted defenceless people for his gain, and I hope he now realises the effects of his actions and is truly remorseful for what he has done.

“I would urge anyone to think twice before you give your money to doorstep ‘tradesmen’. Unless you have contacted someone to come to your house, it is always advised that you politely turn them away. You can then check to see if they are reputable and speak to your family and friends for support. If you feel threatened by any doorstep callers, get in touch with the Police. Don’t take the risk.”

Story Courtesy of Sarah Dauris – Safer Neighbourhoods Officer