Pensioner tricked out of £107,000 for work on Leigh home

The Bolton News: Police have released an e-fit of the conman known as ‘Howard’ Police have released an e-fit of the conman known as ‘Howard’

A PENSIONER has been swindled out of more than £100,000 after being repeatedly targeted by a conman for more than 12 months.

The 72-year-old victim was approached at his Leigh home in May 2012 by a man who gave his name as ‘Howard’ and claimed to work for 'Marshalls' .

They agreed a price for maintenance work on his driveway and a few days later some men carried out some work.

The agreed amount was paid in cash but ‘Howard’ later contacted the victim and told him he was due a refund as he had overpaid for the work.

He told him that he needed to pay him some more cash and that in return he would supply a cheque for the full amount owed.

The offender used the same approach to systematically steal £107,000 over a period of 15 months, costing the victim all his savings and forcing him to tak out a loan to make the last payments.

Police were called in August 2013 after the victim’s family noticed he had lost all his savings and have since conducted numerous enquiries, including conducting covert policing, CCTV, phone and financial enquiries.

The offender is described as white, between 5ft 10in and 6ft tall, in his 30's and clean shaven with brown hair that is brushed to give it height on the head. He always dressed quite smartly and spoke with a southern or south western accent.

Det Con Richard Willoughby said: “This is an absolutely tragic case in which the victim has been repeatedly targeted over a prolonged period of time and has ultimately lost everything.

“He has been caught in a vicious circle, not wanting to stop payment over concerns he would not see any of his money again and only paying in the vain hope the situation would change and he would be reimbursed.

“The actions of the offender are wicked and shameful. To knowingly take so much money from a vulnerable pensioner is despicable.

“We have conducted all manner of enquiries and unfortunately the identity of ‘Howard’ remains unknown.

“I now want to appeal to the public to look closely at the digital image compiled and if anyone thinks they recognise someone from this, please get in touch."

Anyone with information is asked to call police on 0161 856 7225, or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.

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