John Boy Hamer, 40, of Staffordshire, was finally apprehended for fraud when one of his victims recognised him at a Hanley Bingo Hall.
Prosecutor Fiona Cortese said ‘The 85-year-old man recognised Hamer as the defendant banged past him, knocking into a female.’ Officers proceeded to track him down through his bingo membership details. Police arrested Hamer at his home in 2013, well over a year into his criminal scam spree. Once apprehended, several mobile phones in the man’s possession placed him at the areas of the crimes at the times they took place.
Hamer targeted elderly people between December 2012 and June 2013, conning his victims out of a totaled £580. He reportedly knocked on front doors, claiming that the residents were missing tiles from their roofs. He received cash up front for repair work, but then quickly disappeared, leaving his victims (some over 90 years old) confused and helpless.
Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court reached a guilty verdict. Hamer was jailed for five years on charges of conspiracy to commit fraud, theft, fraud, four breaches of an anti-social behaviour order and failing to surrender to bail. Plus, Hamer was hit with a huge three-year driving ban after prosecution pointed out the use of vehicles to help commit the above offences.
In response to attention these crimes received in the media, Trading Standards stepped in with a public warning. ‘Residents should obtain quotes from at least one reputable trader if work is needed…People should politely refuse if a doorstep trader says work should be done and call the police if they feel threatened.’
Joanne Wallbanks, defending, said: ‘He would like the victims to know that he is extremely sorry.’
Well, I bet he’s sorry he got caught! Thank you, bingo.