Cruel conman who posed as Lloyds Bank worker to rip off 94-year-old Sunderland woman is put behind bars
A "travelling criminal" who posed as a bank employee to rip off a 94-year-old woman has been put behind bars.
Conman Sahil Ahmed told his victim he was from Lloyds when he turned up at her home in Sunderland last summer and asked for her bank card and pin number as she had been "issued with too many".
In a bid to throw off any suspicions, the 25-year-old fraudster handed his mobile phone to the pensioner and got her to speak to an accomplice, who posed as his colleague, to validate his story.
The victim, who has "memory issues", handed over her card, which Ahmed put in his pocket, but his visit to the house, which was the second time he had called, had been noted by an eagle-eyed neighbour, who alerted the police.
At Newcastle Crown Court Ahmed, who carried out a similar con on an 87-year-old woman with dementia in Cardiff just days before, has been jailed for six months.
Prosecutor Rachel Masters told the court Ahmed had been spotted by a neighbour at his victim's house in Sunderland last August and said he was there for a "private conversation".
The elderly victim allowed him into her house when he showed up for a second time, a few weeks later.
Miss Masters said: "He told her he was from Lloyds Bank and asked to come in.
"He went into her living room and asked to see her bank card.
"She gave him it and he put it in his pocket. After that, she was handed a mobile phone and told by a second man, over the phone, she had been issued with too many cards."
Miss Masters added: "The complainant informed her neighbours she had let the man in because he told her he was from the bank.
"He said he needed her pin number and her card as a result of what he told her about having too many cards."
Ahmed, of Compton Avenue, Luton, admitted fraud.
Miss Masters told the court: "He is a travelling criminal."
The court heard he was given a suspended sentence in Wales for the offence in Cardiff.
Mr recorder Keith Miller has now sent him to jail for the Sunderland con.
The judge told him: "It seems to me you were travelling to other parts of the country with the express intention of committing offences like this.
"It was sophisticated. It involved significant planning, there being someone else at the end of the telephone to try and put a sense of legitimacy to what you were doing.
"I have come to the conclusion you were deliberately targeting her, knowing she was a vulnerable lady. When you went back, you went back knowing she was a very old lady indeed, who was perhaps more likely to succumb to your request than someone who was of younger age".
The judge added: "Offences of this nature are all too easy to commit and are all too frequently committed in our society.
"Elderly people and all people who are vulnerable deserve the protection of the courts. Judges would fail in their duty if they failed to do that."
Jason Elliott, defending, said Ahmed is "gullible and easily influenced" and had become involved in the offences to pay of a car-repair debt.
Mr Elliott said Ahmed was just the "frontman" and added: "He was not the instigator, he was not the mastermind and he was not the ring leader.
"He has been led astray by others who are more criminally sophisticated then he is and has been used by them."