A SERIAL conman befriended three elderly people and fleeced them out of thousands of pounds.
Durham Crown Court heard John Hindson, 64, targeted fellow residents of a block of flats in Chester-le-Street.
“His record shows a long history of dishonesty and deception,” said Adrian Dent, prosecuting.
“He befriended a 71-year-old woman, eventually moving in with her.
“She was left in about £6,500 of debt to catalogues and doorstep credit companies.
“Hindson took £700 for a holiday which never materialised from a friend of hers, also in her 70s.
“The same woman was persuaded to give Hindson £2,000 for a restaurant he said he was opening, but never did.”
The court heard Hindson befriended a man in his 80s in the same block who gave him £50 for an insurance payment, which was never made.
The court also heard he disappeared from Chester-le-Street in 2012 and was eventually traced by police in Blackpool.
Hindson, now of Livingston Street, Blackpool, admitted two charges of theft.
Representing himself, he told the court: “All I can say is that I am sorry. I know I have a terrible record, but I had stayed out of trouble for a long time.”
Hindson was sentenced to nine months in prison, suspended for two years, and a four- month 7pm to 7am curfew. He must also pay £600 compensation to his victims.