Man jailed for fraud of pensioner in St Helens
A 31-year-old man has been jailed for fraud in St Helens.
Lee Stuart, 31, of no fixed address was jailed for 22 weeks for fraud by false representation and breaching a Criminal Behaviour Order.
On Monday, February 21, Stuart visited the home of a woman in her 80s in the Broad Oak Road area of St Helens. He claimed to have carried out repair work on her property and pressured the woman into giving him £50 cash.
The woman was extremely distressed by Stuart’s actions and informed the police.
Officers carried out CCTV investigations to identify Stuart. He was also found to be in breach of a Criminal Behaviour Order, issued to him in September 2017, a condition of which prevents him from engaging in conduct causing or likely to cause harassment alarm or distress to any person within the borough of St Helens.
Stuart was arrested on Thursday, February 25, remanded in custody, and charged.
Stuart’s initial Criminal Behaviour Order, which runs until September 19, 2022, was issued following a conviction for shoplifting at the Co-Op in West End Road, Haydock.
Community Policing Sergeant Andrew Halfpenny said: “To prey on the elderly and vulnerable members of our community for financial gain is utterly despicable and I hope that Stuart now uses his time in jail to reflect on his disgraceful actions.
“This sentencing should send a message to all those tempted to commit fraud that police can and will track you down and bring you to justice. We also hope this incident shows that we won’t hesitate to put those who breach their Criminal Behaviour Orders behind bars.
“We take all reports of fraud extremely seriously and we never want it to get to the stage where someone has fallen victim to scammers, so being alert and following safety advice is important for all.
“I would encourage anyone with elderly or vulnerable family members, friends or neighbours, to advise them to remain vigilant and share the below tips with them."
Fraud prevention advice:
•Remember to close and lock the back door before answering the front door
• Always ask to see the identification of the person calling
• If you are in any doubt about the identification shown, phone the company they claim to represent and check - don’t use the phone number they give you, look in the phone book for it
•Don’t accept help from anyone charging for their services
•Don’t give your bank card or pin number out
• Ask the person to wait outside while you check and never leave your front door open while you do so
• If the caller claims to be from the police he/she should have a warrant card and this can be checked by calling Merseyside Police on 101
• If the caller leaves and you are still unsure about their credibility, write down the details of the person and the registration number and type and colour of vehicle if you know it and contact police on 101
•Don’t click on links or attachments in suspicious emails
•Do not respond to unsolicited messages asking for personal/financial information
If you suspect someone may be trying to scam you, report it to the police on 101 or call 999 in an emergency. Further fraud crime prevention advice can be found on the Merseyside Police website, or on the Action Fraud site at www.actionfraud.police.uk.