The boss of Derby retailer, Mobility at Home, said that a man who pretended to work for the business in order to trick an elderly woman out of £1,000, has “absolutely no association with us at all”.
Nicholas Askew said that he was informed of an incident after he came back from a family holiday and that the burglar “deserves everything he gets” after the thief stole from an 82-year-old woman while asking her to test a mobility scooter.
Derby Crown Court heard that a man pretended to work for Mobility at Home and asked the victim to test the scooter to make sure she was happy with the new wing mirrors, at which point he proceeded to steal her handbag.
Reporting on the case, the Derby Telegraph noted that the purse contained more than £500 and a further £500 was withdrawn over the next two days.
The judge described the offence as “despicable”. He told Philip Lingard of London Road: “You went to her address and encouraged her to try out her new scooter and while she did so you took the opportunity to steal her money.”
Prosecutor Joey Kwong told the court that Lingard claimed he had been given temporary work at Mobility at Home’s branch in Eagle Market, before taking the mobility scooter to her address.
Mr Kwong said: “The defendant asked her to test it out by riding it up and down the street and later, after he had gone, she realised her handbag had been stolen.
The defendant was arrested after being recognised on CCTV by a police officer and he pleaded guilty to burglary and fraud.
The Derby Telegraph reported that Jonathan Hullis, mitigating, said his client carried out the burglary offence the day after his father’s funeral and has a history of addiction to class A drugs.
He said: “The defendant was asked about how he felt about the offence and said he was ‘absolutely disgusted’ with himself.”
Last year, Ableworld issued a warning to its customers after reports of cold-callers pretending to be from the dealership attempted to scam elderly people in the North Wales area.
Branches of Ableworld in Llandudno and Rhyl wereinformed of the cold-callers who managed to successfully scam one elderly lady.