Conman fleeced OAP out of �20,000

FELIXSTOWE: A doorstep conman who sweet-talked an 82-year-old woman before fleecing her out of more than �20,000 is awaiting his fate today.

James Doran overcharged the pensioner by around �14,000 for the work he carried out at her Felixstowe home, according to an expert.

Doran’s case has been adjourned for sentencing after he pleaded guilty at Ipswich Crown Court to fraud by false representation and failure to supply a cancellation document.

The case comes just days after the Star and put a �5,000 bounty on the heads of two raiders who preyed on the elderly in Felixstowe and Nacton.

Last week, a woman lost her late husband’s engagement and wedding jewellery to a thief, and a couple had cash stolen in a distraction burglary.

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In Doran’s case, the court heard how the 25-year-old called at the OAP’s detached home in spring last year and persuaded her to have block paving laid at the front of her house. Doran also re-aligned some paving slabs and did work to the path at the side of her home.

According to Suffolk County Council’s Trading Standards Department, Doran charged a little over �20,000 for the work which he carried out in three stages between May and June.

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A surveyor who assessed the work during an investigation originally started by police said it should have cost considerably less.

The surveyor estimated the price for a quality job would have been around �6,000.

However, trading standards officers said Doran did not even carry out the jobs to an adequate standard.

Doran was given cheques amounting to more than �20,000 by the woman. However, not all the cheques ended up being cashed.

In addition to the fraud, Doran did not offer the pensioner the standard ‘cooling off’ period before having the work done.

Doran, of Queen Eleanor Road, Northampton, was released on bail following his guilty pleas. His sentencing is scheduled to take place in the week commencing June 14.

After the hearing, Tony Doorly, senior trading standards officer at SCC, warned people – particularly the elderly and the vulnerable – to be wary of door-to-door callers.

Mr Doorly said: “This highlights the issue of dealing with people knocking on doors unannounced.

“We would advise people to take care, think about whether you want the work done, and not to be rushed into doing it.

“Before you have the work done, make sure you know what you are going to be charged.

“Overall, the message is don’t deal with people who call at your door unannounced.”

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