Airport conman is sent to prison.
Byline: ANDREW BARDSLEY firstname.lastname@example.org @MENNEWSDESK
A CONMAN who targeted holidaymakers at Manchester Airport told his victims he needed money to visit sick relatives.
Gary Lyon has been jailed after admitting two counts of fraud by false representation.
A judge told Lyon he should be ashamed of himself, and put him behind bars for 16 months.
Lyon, who has previously been convicted for defrauding his own mother, struck at the airport twice.
At about 9.25pm, on November 10 last year, Lyon approached a 57-year-old businessman who was returning from Portugal in the car park at Terminal 1. He told the man his car had broken down and he needed to visit his father who was in hospital after suffering a heart attack. The victim felt sorry for Lyon and handed over PS20 which the defendant said he would use to buy a petrol can and some petrol.
Promising to pay him back, he gave the man a false name and a phone number.
When the man realised he may have been the victim of a scam, he called the police. The following day he tried to call the number but got no answer, and instead texted and said 'shame on you'.
Lyon struck again on the evening of November 11.
A 69-year-old woman was waiting in the arrivals hall at Terminal 1 for her husband, after returning from a trip to Prague to visit her son.
When her husband arrived they walked to the nearby car park where they were approached by Lyon.
Seeing that the woman's husband was ill, Lyon offered to take her bags and when she refused he grabbed hold of them.
He then said: 'I want a favour from you', and told the woman his father had suffered a heart attack an hour ago and he needed money to visit him.
When the woman told Lyon she didn't have any money he became aggressive and marched her to a cash machine in the arrivals hall.
She withdrew PS40 and gave PS20 to Lyon who insisted that it wasn't enough and said he would get the rest from her husband. But the woman ran after Lyon and he fled.
In a victim impact statement read out at Manchester Crown Court, the woman said: "I didn't know what he was going to do and I was concerned for our safety. This is why I went along with what he said."
When he was caught out Lyon told officers he had been at the airport because it was his 50th birthday and his brother had failed to arrange anything, so he decided to celebrate the milestone there.
Lyon was previously convicted for taking PS6,000 worth of jewellery from his mother, the court heard.
Lyon was also hauled before the courts in 2014 after conning an 80-year-old woman into handing over PS20. He had told her that his daughter had cancer and he needed to visit her at the Christie hospital.
Thomas McKail, defending Lyon, said he has addiction problems with crack cocaine and alcohol.
Sentencing, Judge Anthony Cross told Lyon: "You displayed the hallmarks of someone who preys on people, who you are able to spot as being vulnerable because you have done it in the past."
Lyon, of Shayfield Drive, Wythenshawe, previously admitted two counts of fraud by false representation.