We have today, Monday 17th January, welcomed the sentencing of a man for defrauding an elderly woman.
Michael Patrick Lynch, 38, of Wordsworth Avenue, Widnes, befriended his vulnerable victim, a woman in her 70s from the Garston area, before exploiting her and deceiving her out of nearly £33,000.
Lynch pleaded guilty to four counts of fraud and one count of theft and was jailed for three years and seven months when he appeared at Liverpool Crown Court today.
The court was told that Lynch told the woman he was a builder and was employed to conduct work on the roof and back wall of her property which he did to a poor standard.
He befriended her, often referring to her as ‘a second mother’ and encouraged and coerced her to obtain phone contracts, personal loans and a credit card facility on his behalf,
He convinced the woman that that he needed her financial assistance to get his business ‘back on its feet’ and convinced her to keep their activities quiet, and not tell her family, for fear of causing them worry.
His victim took out a £6000 bank loan and acted a guarantor for Lynch. Suspicious staff at her bank alerted police when she attended with Lynch to withdraw the loan money so he could buy a new work van.
Detective Inspector Steve Ball from the Economic Crime Team said: “Lynch was a confidence trickster who took advantage of a vulnerable woman and deceived her whilst portraying himself as a friendly, caring individual.
“His actions have had a devastating impact on his victim and her ability to trust the people around her.
“To befriend a vulnerable person and then target them in such a way for monetary gain is shocking.
“Everyone has the right to feel safe and secure in their own homes. This was the ultimate breach of trust and I hope that the lady will be able to move on from this now Lynch is behind bars and his actions made public.
“I would encourage anyone who feels they, or a vulnerable person they know, has been a victim of fraud to contact us so that we can take immediate action.”
Action Fraud is the UK’s national fraud and cybercrime reporting centre. If you believe you have been a victim of fraud you can contact them on 0300 123 2040 or go to www.actionfraud.police.uk