Conman jailed for targeting elderly victims

Felix Cunningham.
Felix Cunningham.
Have your say

A BOGUS workman who targeted elderly victims before burgling their homes has been jailed for four years.

Felix Cunningham, 45, preyed on vulnerable people aged in their eighties by offering to carrying out work on their properties.

Leeds Crown Court heard Cunningham knocked on the window of a couple aged 86 and 89 in Hemsworth on September 24 this year and offered to do work in their garden.

Simon Haring, prosecuting, said the husband agreed and gave the man £40 before going back inside his home.

Cunningham then went into the living room and picked up his wallet, which contained £140. The elderly woman was in the room at the time but was unable to get out of her chair.

She challenged Cunningham as he put the wallet in his pocket but he denied having it and left.

Cunningham then targeted the home of an 81-year-old woman on Park Gate Avenue, Wakefield, on November 12, claiming to be a gardener. The court heard Cunningham also took £40 from another victim in Wakefield on June 12, after agreeing to do some paving work.

He took the cash and claimed he would buy some materials but never returned.

The incident was also captured on CCTV. Cunningham, of Greenwood Road, Wakefield, pleaded guilty to two offences of burglary and one of fraud by false representation.

The court heard Cunningham has a long history of offences for dishonesty.

Shufquat Khan, mitigating, said the offences were committed to fund his addiction to drugs. Jailing Cunningham, the Recorder of Leeds, Judge Peter Collier, QC, said: “These burglaries were particularly serious. You were clearly targeting elderly people.

“These are dreadful offences. They cause great distress.”