Conman who duped OAP is jailed

A CRUEL conman who tricked an 81-year-old Suffolk woman out of £69,000 has been jailed for 42 months.The pensioner gave John Lay her savings in the belief that he was going to buy her a new car from abroad with some of the money and invest the rest for her, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

A CRUEL conman who tricked an 81-year-old Suffolk woman out of £69,000 has been jailed for 42 months.

The pensioner gave John Lay her savings in the belief that he was going to buy her a new car from abroad with some of the money and invest the rest for her, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

However Lay - who was jailed for three years in 1991 for conning members of his family out of £200,000 in another scam - pocketed the money and used it to buy expensive clothes and to eat and drink out.

Yesterday Lay, 38, of High Street, Sproughton, was jailed for 42 months for eight offences of obtaining money transfers by deception.


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Sentencing Lay, Judge John Devaux said he had befriended the victim, who lives in a village near Framlingham, and had taken money from her over a period of two years.

He said that as a result of Lay's dishonesty the pensioner, who had worked up until her retirement, had been left "financially very poor".

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She couldn't afford to pay some of her household bills and has been forced to seek help in the form of benefits from Suffolk Coastal District Council.

Judge Devaux said Lay was guilty of a "terrible breach of trust".

"She has lost her pride and has had to go to others to seek help. You can't pay her a penny in compensation. If you were buying shirts for £100 a time it isn't surprising you have no money to pay compensation," said the Judge.

Michael Crimp, prosecuting, said that Lay had initially met the woman while he was selling replacement windows outside a supermarket in Framlingham.

He had gone on to do legitimate work for her and had then continued to visit her, sometimes taking his wife and son with him.

When the woman said she wanted to buy a new car Lay told her he could get her one cheaper from abroad and had taken money from her.

He had later persuaded her to let him invest money for her. She had become concerned when she didn't get her car and realised she had nothing to show for her investments.

After his arrest Lay said he had been living in a fantasy world and had hoped to sort things out.

Kevin Clarke, for Lay, said his client had told him that he couldn't justify what he had done and accepted he had "done a terrible thing".

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