Jail for man who tried to defraud Norfolk pensioner out of �27,000

A rogue caller who was involved in a scam to defraud a vulnerable Norfolk pensioner of more than �27,000 by dishonestly carrying out work on her home that was 'grossly excessive' has been jailed for three years.

Norwich Crown Court heard how Michael Rooksby, 23, of The Splashes, Castle Acre Road, Swaffham, had helped carry out work at the pensioner's bungalow, in Dereham, which the prosecution said was 'completely unneccessary.'

The scam was only stopped when the pensioner had exhausted all her savings and applied for a �12,000 loan which then alerted her bank about what had been going on, and they then contacted police about the matter.

Rooksby, whose role, the court heard, was to collect the cash and act as a general 'dogsbody' was arrested and following a trial was found guilty of conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation.

Jailing him for three years, Judge Alasdair Darroch told him that the public were appalled by cases like this.

'No doubt this fraud would have gone on until it was stopped.'

He said that he had been involved in trying to get the victim to take out a �12,000 loan until the bank intervened and said: 'You played a significant role. You knew what was going on and you knew no valuable work was going on and were involved in collecting the money.'

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Ian James, for Rooksby, said that he had not been the organiser.

'He did join in but did not play a crucial part. He was a dogsbody. He played no part in organising this in any way.'

After the case the officer involved in the investigation Det Con Steve Moseley from Operation Radar which targets rogue traders and distraction burglars in Norfolk, said he was satisfied at the result.

'It is another good example which goes to show that people who go out and commit rogue trader offences or doorstep crimes will be caught and severely punished.'

He added that in this case the vigilance of the victim's bank had played a part.

'In this case the good vigilance of this victim's bank in coming forward to the police prevented the victim from losing a further substantial amount of money.'

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