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Cromer rogue trader sent to jail after pensioner con

PUBLISHED: 10:00 11 September 2009 | UPDATED: 09:56 13 July 2010

Ben Kendall

Detectives last night hailed the first major conviction in a clampdown on rogue traders after a handyman who conned a vulnerable widower out of his life savings was jailed for three years.

Detectives last night hailed the first major conviction in a clampdown on rogue traders after a handyman who conned a vulnerable widower out of his life savings was jailed for three years.

Norwich Crown Court heard that 64-year-old Roland Harris was left penniless after being targeted by conman Anthony Ogilvie, right. At the time of the crime, Mr Harris, from Cromer, was mourning the death of his wife and had only recently been discharged from hospital after suffering a serious illness.

Ogilvie, of Reeve Place, Cromer, systematically cleared out his victim's two bank accounts, taking more than £10,000 for home improve-ments which were never carried out. One account was left about £2,000 overdrawn and the other had 68p.

When he realised the money had run dry, the 48-year-old tried to force Mr Harris, who spent 22 years in the Royal Navy, to take out bank loans which he could not afford to repay.

Jailing Ogilvie after he was convicted for three counts of fraud, Recorder Peter Taylor said he had only befriended Mr Harris for financial gain. He added there was “no substantial mitigation” for the crimes.

The recorder added: “These offences have impoverished the remainder of Mr Harris' life. You had no regret or remorse for what you did. You showed no pity or decency and the timing of the fraud was cynical.”

The court heard that there was no prospect of Mr Harris getting his money back. However, Det Con Dave McCormack said the police had worked with other organisations to ensure Mr Harris received support and did not lose his home.

In mitigation John McNally said Ogilvie had been addicted to heroin at the time of the offences. As Ogilvie was led from the dock, he offered an apology to Mr Harris.

Mr McCormack said the case highlighted the importance of Norfolk police's Operation Radar, a clampdown on rogue traders and bogus callers.

Olgivie was also sentenced for 14 days' imprisonment for absconding halfway through his trial. He was caught by police 10 days later.


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