A cowboy builder has been jailed for fraud after befriending an elderly man and overcharging him by £18,000 for work on his house.
Jimmy James Cash, 22, was sentenced to 27 months in prison for the offence which was described in court as ‘shameful behaviour in the worst way’, writes Adam Hull.
The court heard how Cash had met Richard Trew, 71, through his mother Eileen Cash who had herself met him at a pub.
Cash, of Upper Icknield Way, Princes Risborough, then tricked his victim – described as a vulnerable and unusually trusting man – into believing he was his friend and began to carry out decorating and maintenance work on his house.
Mr Trew, who lived alone at his home in Northampton following the death of his mother, was then driven to the bank by Cash on a number of occasions to withdraw money to pay for the work.
This, however, amounted to much more than Mr Trew owed, and he began to worry about paying his bills, as well as the cost of day-to-day living.
He eventually ended up handing over to Cash all of his life savings, as well as the money he had inherited from his mother.
The court was told that Cash, who has never been to school and cannot read or write, initially claimed that he had never taken any money from Mr Trew, but pleaded guilty on the day of the trial.
Mr Trew had also agreed to transfer ownership of his house over to Eileen Cash, but it has since been transferred back.
Jimmy Cash, who was sentenced at St Albans Crown Court, has been ordered to pay back the £18,000 he unlawfully obtained from Mr Trew.