Rogue gardener jailed after duping pensioners

A crooked gardener who preyed on elderly victims and fleeced them out of thousands of pounds for work he failed to carry out has been jailed.

Career conman David Smith was handed a two-year sentence after a court heard how he duped vulnerable pensioners across Yorkshire and the Midlands.

During one offence he posed as the manager of Tong Garden Centre when he went to the home of an elderly woman in Gomersal.

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He took £100 from the woman after promising to fit security fencing but failed to return.

In another offence in Leeds, bald-headed Smith wore a wig as a disguise as he conned an 86-year-old dementia sufferer.

Smith even arranged to meet the victim outside a bank where her took money from her.

He was arrested after being caught on a security camera which the victim’s daughter had set up at the property.

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Smith also duped four people at a complex for the elderly in Harrogate after taking cash from them for gardening supplies which he failed to deliver.

Other offences included him fleecing a couple in Derbyshire out of more than £7,000 after promising to build a memorial garden in honour of one of a relative who had recently died.

Smith also ripped off elderly and vulnerable victims in Lincolnshire and Warwickshire.

He pleaded guilty to 11 offences of fraud and one of failing to surrender.

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The court heard Smith, of Newtown Road, Bedworth, Warwickshire, was given a 30-month prison sentence back on 2009 for 27 similar offences of deception against elderly victims.

Jailing Smith, judge Alison Hunt said: “The way you have behaved to these people is despicable and inexcusable and the public have a right to be protected.”