Jail term for fraudster who conned widow out of her life savings

Ipswich Crown Court. Picture: SIMON PARKER

Ipswich Crown Court. Picture: SIMON PARKER - Credit: Archant

A “wicked” fraudster who conned a widow out of her £50,000 life savings by pretending he would invest it for her has been jailed for four years and six months.

Sentencing 61-year-old Nicholas Raven, who formerly lived in Brightlingsea and Manningtree, Judge Emma Peters described him as a “wicked, deceitful fraudster” and said he had “pounced” on the widow, who is in her seventies, within days of her husband’s death.

Ipswich Crown Court heard that Raven had met Alan and Anne Hobbs while he was living an ex-pat lifestyle in France.

Judge Peters said Raven was described as a “ big character” by people who socialised with him and he had created the impression he was a retired Royal Navy captain and was financially successful.

“You said to the police that you were a b********** and it seems to me that was one truth you did tell,” said the judge.

She said that in January 2014, two months before Mr Hobbs died Raven discussed some of the ways he could invest the couple’s £50,000 life savings.

After Mr Hobbs’ death Raven contacted Mrs Hobbs and told her he was in Malta and that he would call in to see her on his way back.

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“You weren’t in Malta and more likely you were in Manningtree,” she said.

Within days of Mr Hobbs’ death Raven turned up on Mrs Hobbs’ doorstep and while he was there he dictated a letter which she typed saying she was giving him £54,000 to repay a loan he had made to her husband while he was alive.

Raven told Mrs Hobbs he would invest the money for her and that the letter was protection against any suggestion of money laundering. She transferred the money to him and never saw any of it again.

Judge Peters said that during his trial Raven had told a “cruel lie” by claiming that before his death Mr Hobbs had told him he was going to leave his wife and had asked him for money.

Raven, of Chantry Road, Bishops Stortford was convicted by a jury of fraud by false representation.

Lucy Ginsberg for Raven said he had spent some time in the Merchant Navy and he had also trained as a police cadet.

She said he had spent some time living in France but had returned to Brightlingsea because his daughter wanted to live with him.

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