A SERIAL con man spared jail for duping innocent Wearsiders out of cash has been put behind bars for yet another scam.
James Hayes was given a suspended prison sentence at the start of the year for conning hundreds of pounds out of members of the public by turning up at their doors with a sob story, claiming he was in desperate need of cash.
Trusting homeowners in Sunderland, County Durham and South Shields were usually happy to help, after they heard tales which included Hayes’ pregnant girlfriend being due to give birth in another part of the country. They often handed over what they thought would be short-term loans.
But the victims, often elderly and vulnerable, never got a penny of their money back.
On Monday, January 25, at Newcastle Crown Court, Hayes was given a community order involving unpaid work and supervision requirements.
But just days after being given the courtroom chance, on February 1, Hayes duped another innocent stranger out of £20 which he claimed he needed to get to work at Nissan in a hurry.
He carried out just seven-and-a-half of the 80 hours’ community work he was ordered to do and failed to turn up for his probation service appointments.
Hayes, of Marriville West, Ryhope, Sunderland, admitted fraud by false representation in relation to the offence, as well as five similar offences committed between June last year and January this year, which is around the same time as the original offences.
Mr Recorder Toby Hedworth told him: “You begged to be given a chance to prove yourself, I gave you that chance and told you if you committed any further offence you would go immediately to prison.
“I keep my promises. You have thrown back the opportunity you were given – the loss is yours. The court has got to demonstrate if you are given a chance and you fail to take it there will be consequences.”
The judge jailed him for a total of 40 weeks.
Paul Currer, defending, said just after receiving the suspended sentence in January Hayes heard the police wished to speak to him about some unsolved crimes.
Mr Currer said this sent the 40-year-old into a panic and meant he “took to his toes” and went on the run.