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 Fraudster who conned vulnerable, elderly man given suspended sentence


​A FRAUDSTER who befriended a vulnerable, elderly man and conned him out of more than £12,000 has been sentenced.

Hayden Bailey befriended the man over a number of months in 2016 and tricked him into lending him money on the pretence that he would eventually pay him back.

The 26-year-old told the victim, who was in his seventies and lived alone, that he would pay him back using an insurance claim he had submitted.

However, the claim never came to fruition and the victim never received his money, leaving him struggling to heat his home and relying on food banks. Sadly, he died in June last year.

Bailey, of Spennymoor, initially denied one count of fraud by false representation but changed his plea to guilty on the day of his trial.

He appeared at Durham Crown Court yesterday (January 8) where he was sentenced to 22 weeks in prison, suspended for 18 months.

He was also ordered to carry out 240 hours of unpaid work and pay £5,000 in compensation to the victim’s family.

PC Steve Brown, from Shildon Neighbourhood Police Team, said: “This crime was committed against a very vulnerable, kind and trusting gentleman.

“He was deeply affected by the loss of his life savings and was particularly upset that it was committed by someone who he thought of as a friend.

“Afterwards he struggled to heat his home due to financial difficulties and regularly used food banks. The victim sadly passed away in June last year so he was not able to see this sentence. However, his family were pleased to see some justice done.”

If you feel like you or a family member has been a victim of fraud, please contact Durham Constabulary on 101, or call 999 if you are in immediate danger.