Fraudsters jailed for preying on elderly Leeds victims

Ryan Woodward.
Ryan Woodward.
Have your say

TWO men have been jailed over a series of “mean and wicked” fraud offences committed against elderly victims.

Ryan Woodhead, 23, and Liam O’Donnell, 20, targeted vulnerable care home residents in the Beeston and Holbeck areas of Leeds.

They conned one into handed over cash after telling him he had won a raffle prize.

On another occasion Woodhead claimed to be a police officer when he preyed on a 79-year-old man who had previously been the victim of a burglary committed by his brother.

Woodhead tricked the man into believing the items stolen in the break-in had been recovered but told him he needed £130 to get them back. The cash was handed over when Woodhead and O’Donnell went to his home but they failed to return with the property.

The pair also tried tricked an 86-year-old into believing his disabled son had won £400 in a raffle.

They went to the man’s home and gave him a cheque but said it had been made out in error and he had only won £300. They handed over the cheque but told him they would need £100 in cash.

The victim handed over the cash and the cheque was later discovered to be stolen when the incident was reported to the police.

The pair tried to carry out the same trick on a 91-year-old man by telling him they had won a raffle held by Holbeck Working Men’s Club. Woodhead, of Highfield Drive, Morley, and O’Donnell, now of Gregory Boulevard, Nottingham, pleaded guilty to four offences of theft.

Woodhead was jailed for 18, to be added to a 28 month sentence imposed for a burglary committed at the care home he had targeted. O’Donnell was jailed for 12 months. Recorder Euan Duff said: “This was mean, wicked offending.”

PIC: Gary Longbottom

Photo gallery: Teenage recruits march to success at Harrogate’s Army Foundation College