A fraudster duped a vulnerable pensioner out of nearly £9,000 because it was easier to take money from an “octogenarian than to sign on for it”.
City magistrates heard how lodger Shaun Thewsey, 28, deliberately targeted his elderly landlord in central Castleford between June 2014 and January this year.
Thewsey, now of Castleford Road, Normanton, claimed property belonging to the landlord had been seized to satisfy drug debts. The lodger told the pensioner he would be able to get the objects back if he paid Thewsey varying amounts of money.
But Prosecutor Richard Ogden said the property had been hidden upstairs where the 80-year-old man was unlikely to be unable to get to them.
The court also heard about a threatening and demanding note which had been left in the house and had been signed by someone called ‘Andy’.
It read: “You owe me £180. If I don’t get my money you won’t get your things. I will come in your house and break your arms and legs.
“If you ring the police there will be hell to pay.”
Bit it later emerged that Thewsey had made up ‘Andy’.
Mr Ogden said Thewsey told investigators: “It was easier to take money from the octogenarian than to sign on for it.”
The court heard Thewsey had since paid a small amount back, but the total taken was £8,960.
The prosecutor said it was fraudulent activity over a sustained period of time and involved the deliberate targeting of a vulnerable victim. He said the offence had made a significant impact on the 80-year-old man.
Thewsey admitted fraud but no mitigation was given on Monday as magistrates committed him to Leeds Crown court for sentence on March 30. He was conditionally bailed.