VICTIMS of a Bolton conman who stole thousands pounds from them for non-existent Hajj pilgrimages are to have some of their cash returned.

Mudassir Shaheen is currently serving a 30-month jail sentence at Thorn Cross prison, Warrington, after being convicted of 10 counts of theft.

A jury at Bolton Crown Court had heard how, over an eight-month period starting in April, 2013, the 38-year-old married father-of-four stole £34,250 from Muslims hoping to make the pilgrimage to Mecca.

Shaheen placed television adverts, using the name Karwan al Madina Travel, on the Sky based Ummah Channel offering Hajj pilgrimages and was contacted by potential customers from around the UK.

A total of 10 people transferred cash to him expecting their trips, which never materialised.

Shaheen, of Green Lane, Bolton, was not at Bolton Crown Court for a proceeds of crime hearing, but Judge Graeme Smith was told that he agreed to hand over cash police found in his bank account.

The £6,572.38 will be used to compensate his 10 victims.

David Lees, for the prosecution, said it will result in each of them getting back just over a fifth of what they lost.

Judge Smith made an order which stated that Shaheen had benefited from his crimes to the tune of £34,250 and he must relinquish his assets of amounting to £6,572.38 within six months or face a further four months in prison.

“From the point of view of the victims, something is better than nothing,” said Judge Smith.

“Clearly, the maximum the court can order is what is available to the defendant.”