Even though there are repeated warnings provided to the general public to be on their guard for people pretending to be in a position of authority, this style of crime is still taking place on a regular basis. One crime of this nature has come to light, and it turned out to be a harrowing ordeal for one elderly couple. It involved a gang carrying out a brazen scam which saw some members acting as Trading Standards officers. This scam enabled the gang to take money from their victim on a number of occasions.
Just one member of the gang, Walter Connors, was caught. Connors was sent to jail for 18 months, a sentence which included 9 months from a sentence which had been previously suspended. At Bristol Crown Court, Connors pleaded guilty to a charge of conspiracy to defraud. The gang had targeted a 78 year old man, Walter Kirkpatrick, who lives with his wife in Patchway. The scam started back in September of 2013 when a man, who introduced himself as John Carrol, approached Mr Kirkpatrick and informed them that there was a need to carry out work on the ridge tiles at his property, which was said to cost around £180. After this, the man claimed to have found rotten wood beneath these tiles undertook a minimal amount of poor standard repair work and presented Mr Kirkpatrick with a bill for £3,600.
The Different Levels of this Crime were the Biggest aspect of the con
This was followed up in January of 2014 when an unknown man attended at the property of Mr Kirkpatrick, claiming to be from the Trading Standards. The man informed Mr Kirkpatrick that the main known as Mr Carrol was currently in police custody due to the fact that he carried out fraud on a number of people.
Days later, another man attended the home of Mr Kirkpatrick and said that the court case was taking place and that there was a need for Mr Kirkpatrick to provide £3,600 which was to be deposited with the court. The couple had money put aside for funerals and handed it over to a man who collected it half an hour later. Bizarrely, and if this wasn’t enough, a return visit was made half an hour later, claiming that the money provided was “out of date” and that there was a need to provide an additional sum of £4,500 to replace that money.
Shortly after, Mr Kirkpatrick spoke to his daughter, who started to contact the court and then eventually the police about the crime.
The Gang claimed a lot of Money from their Victim
Mr Posner, representing the defence, said: “A person purporting to be Judge Pierce spoke to Mr Kirkpatrick and told him that a further £9,000 was needed at court to ‘get things moving’. Mr Kirkpatrick thought it was the same person who purported to be Mr Stone, just putting on a different voice.”
Acting on behalf of the defence, David Leathley insisted that his client was only a “peripheral player” in this case whose main role was to collect cash. He said to the judge; “They are squalid offences. Mr Connors had very little insight into the full extent of just how squalid the enterprise was. Mr Connors is extremely sorry.” In response, Judge Richard Bromilow spoke when jailing Connors, saying; “It seems to me you were on the periphery and put up to this but you nevertheless knew what was going on.”
After the conclusion of the case, DC Celia White spoke to local media, saying; “The victims in this case were an elderly and very trusting couple who were preyed upon by Connors. They have been left very distressed after losing their savings, which have never been recovered. There were others involved in the crime who have not been identified due to the cunning nature of the upsetting incident, as most of the work was done over the phone. We are committed to tackling organised crime that targets the most vulnerable in our society and will work with our partner agencies to pursue relentlessly, those involved in this abhorrent crime.”
A crime of this complex nature requires skilled and experienced solicitors who can provide the highest level of representation at all times. It is always best to find a solicitor firm that has experience and expertise to provide their clients with the highest level of representation.
Andrew Reilly is a freelance writer with a focus on news stories and consumer interest articles. He has been writing professionally for 9 years but has been writing for as long as he can care to remember. When Andrew isn’t sat behind a laptop or researching a story, he will be found watching a gig or a game of football.