Lancaster OAP fraudsters must pay back ill gotten gains - but vulnerable victim did not live long enough to see justice done

Zachary O'Connor
Zachary O'Connor
Share this article

An elderly man who was defrauded by a rogue worker and his cronies died before the courts were able to order them to pay their ill gotten gains back.

Vulnerable Alan Gillett was conned into having shoddy work done to a chimney and fire in October 2015, and a probe found he had handed over cheques totally £53,950 in 12 months.

Zachary O’Connor, 31, of Barley Cop Lane, Lancaster, was jailed for 22 months in March at Preston Crown Court after admitting conspiring to make a false representation.

He has sold his car and will have his half share in a house seized after Judge Ian Leeming QC made an order under the Proceeds of Crime Act. The defendant shook his head as the judge said: “ You must pay £14,744 within six months or face six months in prison in default.”

His co-defendants were each ordered to pay back £1, though their assets will be revisited in future.

Ralph Brook, 44, of Swindale Lane, Kirby Stephen, previously got four months, suspended for 18, with unpaid work after admitting conspiring to make a false representation. He had benefitted by £1,304.

Neil Dixon, 48, of Sefton Road, Heysham, benefitted by £45,200 by allowing 11 cheques to be cashed into his account, and was given eight months suspended for two years, with 80 hours unpaid work for money laundering.

Nathan Adamson, 21, of Harcourt Road, Lancaster, who benefitted by £7,050 by allowing his account to be used, was given unpaid work after admitting money laundering.

The cash will go Mr Gillett’s estate.