Sunderland conman who 'invented' the death of a child to get money has been jailed
A cruel conman who "invented" the death of a baby to try and get more money from one of his vulnerable victims has been put behind bars.
Former window cleaner Ryan Stoker took £10 from a man living in a mental health unit in Sunderland by claiming he needed the cash so he could visit his girlfriend in hospital and went back for another £3 a few days later.
Prosecutor Claire Anderson told Newcastle Crown Court: "He knocked on the doorb a few days after that, at 11pm, and said the baby had died and asked for £20."
During the visit, Stoker, 31, warned the man, who had been reluctant to hand over more cash, "you phone the police and your windows are going in", threatened to burn his house down and constantly banged on his widows and door.
During one of the visits, in February 2019, he banged so hard the victim's living room window smashed.
The court heard while on bail, Stoker targeted a vulnerable 68-year-old woman, in late 2020, who had previously hired him to clean her windows at her home in the same city.
Prosecutor Claire Anderson told the court Stoker had offered to do gardening work and said he needed cash upfront for materials.
Miss Anderson said Stoker took his victim to the cash point to ensure he got the money he wanted and added: "She made seven withdrawals and handed over a total of £620 to the defendant."
The prosecutor said checks made with the company Stoker claimed he would get the materials from showed there had been no orders made by him.
The gardening work was never done.
Stoker, of Brockley Street, Town End Farm, Sunderland, admitted two offences of fraud and one of criminal damage.
Mr Recorder Tom Moran sentenced him to 18 months behind bars and said: "It is clear you targeted the victims because they were vulnerable".
The judge added: "It is despicable to invent the death of a child as a rouse to get more money".
Alec Burns, defending, said Stoker was taking drugs at the time of the offences and struggling to cope with the sudden death of his father.
Mr Burns added: "The offences were, he accepts, mean."
Mr Burns said Stoker has now "turned himself around", has a job at Nissan and wants to pay compensation to his victims.