A fraudster from Ashford who tried to steal a vulnerable pensioner’s life savings has been sentenced to four years in prison.
Colin Fox targeted a man aged in his 80s who was living in a care home and attempted to transfer money from his bank account totalling almost £200,000.
Fox, aged 43, had connections with a friend of the victim who sometimes provided care and through this was able to gain access to his personal details, including an online bank account. During March 2018, he made multiple transactions to transfer money belonging to the victim into his own account.
However, due to the large sums involved, which added up to £188,397 the bank put the transactions on hold. This prompted attempts by Fox to try and convince them to release the funds. He attended the bank’s local branch in Ashford on 28 March 2018 and was accompanied by an elderly man who pretended to be the victim. Fox claimed he and his ‘grandfather’ had tried to transfer the money from his grandfather’s account so he could purchase designer watches.
The scam was thwarted after staff challenged them with a number of security questions and police were alerted to the suspicious activity. An investigation by the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate established the victim was 86 at the time of the offences and suffered from a number of debilitating medical conditions, which would have prevented him from leaving his care home and attending a bank. Fox, of Christchurch Road, Ashford was arrested in September 2019, however the associate who had accompanied him at the bank remained unidentified.
At Maidstone Crown Court, Fox pleaded guilty to a charge of fraud by false representation and was sentenced on Friday 13 August 2021.
Leading the investigation was Detective Constable Mark Collins, who said: ‘Prior to the conclusion of the investigation the victim, Henry Cook, sadly passed away, but was aware the fraud had taken place and had suffered some considerable distress when told by officers someone had tried to take his life savings from his bank account. Fox’s actions in visiting the bank under the pretence of attending with his grandfather are indicative of his determination to do whatever it took to try and steal every penny he could. Thankfully, he has been unable to profit from this scam, due largely to the diligence and alertness of the bank’s employees and it is pleasing to see that at least justice has now been served.’