Man accused of defrauding Norfolk OAP of more than �40,000

A man has appeared in court accused of conspiring to defraud a pensioner of more than �40,000 by dishonestly carrying out work on her home that was 'grossly excessive' or 'unnecessary'.

Michael Rooksby, 23, of The Splashes, off Castle Acre Road, Swaffham, is on trial at Norwich Crown Court after being charged with conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation.

It is alleged that Rooksby, together with Bill Smith, conspired together to defraud the pensioner.

Rooksby denies the offence, which is said to have happened between January 1, 2010 and October 2, 2010 and amounts to a total of �41,485.

It is alleged that Rooksby was known to the pensioner as Kev and it is alleged that he was the man who used to collect the money, which was always handed over in cash in an envelope after the pensioner had withdrawn savings from her bank account, to pay for work which was said to have been carried out on her bungalow, in Dereham.

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The jury have been told that Smith, 30, also of The Splashes, off Castle Acre Road, Swaffham, has admitted his part in the fraud.

The court heard that the woman had taken on her parents' house in 2003 after they passed away and in order to get it 'ship shape and ready to sell' arranged for work to be done.

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Giving evidence, the woman told Andrew Oliver, prosecuting, that she began to get calls to work on her house in 2007 from a man called Pete, who said he was the son of one of the women who had worked on her parents' house.

In a statement made in September last year, she said she paid him �2,000 to �3,000 in cash for work done to gravel her driveway and take a shed down after he had turned up at her door without prior warning or notification.

The court heard that he called, unannounced on other occasions in relation to other work that needed doing, including re-shingling the driveway and damp proofing the bungalow, which was done in 2007.

Between February and March 2010, the woman took out a series of cash transactions from her bank totalling �14,500 which was paid to a man called Kev, by arrangement with Pete, who called at her house and she had given the money, which was handed over in an envelope. Mr Oliver said: 'You didn't receive any invoices from Kev or from Pete in relation to that work?' The woman said: 'No'.

She said that police were called in after she had tried to take out a loan with her bank for a further �12,000 to pay another installment which it was claimed she owed.

Cross examined by Ian James, defending, the woman agreed that Kev had not come onto the scene until 2010 and by then she had already handed over a lot of cash to Pete and agreed that Pete had conned her. She also admitted that she found things difficult to remember.

The trial continues.

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