Two doorstep thugs who targeted vulnerable people found “two ideal victims” in a pair of elderly dementia sufferers, a court heard.
Travellers Steven Wood, 30, and his brother-in-law Ryan Lowe, 21, were both jailed for “bleeding” their victims of their last penny through “sheer greed”.
Again and again, they went back to demand money from Kathleen Gardner, 81, and Peter Rothwell, 86, who both ended up in care homes. Jointly, they defrauded them of nearly £80,000.
Teesside Crown Court was told Wood conducted a “campaign” of abuse of elderly victims in West and North Yorkshire.
He is already serving a three and a half year sentence for exploiting three vulnerable pensioners, two from Leeds.
The third was an 82-year-old woman from Wetherby who Wood conned into paying £3,500 for gardening.
He duped her into believing she would be fined £7,000 unless she had conifers removed.
She contacted relatives when he threatened to take a treasured clock from her home if she refused to pay more.
Police were called and what the judge called Lowe and Wood’s “conspiracy” to target the elderly finally unravelled.
Richard Bennett, prosecuting for North Yorkshire. Trading Standards, told the court: “Wood has made a career out of targeting elderly and vulnerable victims.
“His activities have generated a large amount of money.
“Lowe made it his business to identify house-holders who could be easily over charged for gardening or property work.
“In the current case, he was able to find two ideal victims.
“Both were elderly people, both lived alone, and both suffered from dementia.”
The next victim was an elderly widower from Haxby, near York, who was fleeced for £72,000.
Defending counsel asked the Recorder of Middlesbrough Simon Bourne-Arton to consider both men’s guilty pleas and that Lowe was of previous good character.
Wood, who was jailed last year for the West Yorkshire offences, was given four and a half years for six fraud and money laundering offences.
Lowe, of Spring Lane, Bickerton, Wetherby, admitted 13 fraud and money laundering offences and was jailed for three years.