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Conmen who targeted elderly woman to be sentenced

Daniel Baker (top left), Daniel Sherwood (top right), John Hart (bottom left) and Philip Budden Credit: Dorset Police

Four men found guilty of conning an elderly woman out of £120,000 in Dorset, will be sentenced later.

Police say the victim, who's now 88, was targeted because she was vulnerable.

She paid out the money by making cheques for work that had either not been completed or had been poorly completed and she had been excessively charged.

John Hart, aged 61 and of Hannington Place in Bournemouth, and Philip Budden, 37 and of Malmesbury Park Road, pleaded guilty to fraud by false representation following a hearing at Bournemouth Crown Court on Monday 2 October 2017.

Daniel Baker, 40 and of Cartwright Close in Bournemouth, admitted money laundering offences at the same hearing and Daniel Sherwood, 34 and of Ringwood Road in Bournemouth, was found guilty today, Tuesday 10 October 2017, of two counts of money laundering following a five-day trial.

The victim was initially contacted by Hart, who asked about installing house insulation as part of a government scheme.

The victim then paid Hart £56,400 over the course of two years for work that was not needed.

Budden also contacted the victim and obtained £24,059 in cheques for poor and unnecessary work.

Baker claimed to work for the local authority and had found a water leak which had been traced to her address.

The victim was asked to pay a total of £40,400 for the work to be repaired.

There was no evidence of any work ever having taken place.

Sherwood was found guilty of receiving some of the money obtained from the victim by Baker.

The victim paid for further work to her home including repairs to her roof, insulation, damp proofing and general work around the house and garden.

Independent experts ruled that the prices quoted were highly excessive and the work had either not been carried out or was of poor quality.

These men targeted a vulnerable elderly woman and conned her into thinking work was needed at her home. They charged extortionate rates for this work, which was either not carried out or completed to a poor standard."

"I am pleased with the verdict from the court and I hope this case sends out a very strong message that Dorset Police takes these offences extremely seriously. We will do everything to safeguard vulnerable residents and I would urge members of the community to report any concerns about such activity to the police so it can be thoroughly investigated."

– Detective Inspector Fiona Gaffney, Dorset Police

Jail for rogue internet trader who sold fake goods

A rogue internet trader from Hampshire who sold fake versions of headphones and other gadgets from top brands including Sennheiser and Monster has been jailed.

Michael Reeder, 35, of Carbis Close, Portsmouth, was convicted by a jury at Portsmouth Crown Court of 10 offences of possessing fake goods and three charges of selling counterfeit products.

The charges were brought after Portsmouth City Council's trading standards officers raided his premises on two occasions in 2011 and seized more than 2,000 items including fake Monster, Sennheiser and Sony headphones.

Counterfeit Apple accessories, counterfeit iPhone cases, PlayStation controllers and Wii accessories were also found.

The court heard that Reeder was set to have gained £168,000 if he had sold allthe items which he was selling at about 100% mark-up on the price he paid his unauthorised supplier in China.

Reeder was jailed for two and a half years. Click on the video to see some of the items the police found.