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Father and son fraud duo jailed for cruel con on elderly ladies.

Byline: Rob Kennedy Court Reporter

ADESPICABLE father and son fleeced vulnerable elderly ladies out of thousands of pounds for shoddy and unnecessary work in a cruel con.

Heartless rogue traders Joseph Ramsay snr and Joseph Ramsay jnr targeted vulnerable lone women to line their own pockets.

It is not the first time Ramsay jnr has targeted the elderly and he committed his second offence on the same day he appeared in court for the first one.

The scheming Newcastle pair were branded callous by a judge as they were jailed - but Ramsay jnr will soon be out after serving time locked up on remand.

Judge Tim Gittins, at Newcastle Crown Court, told them: "To describe you as rogue traders is to be polite.

"What you were doing was callous, targeting vulnerable and elderly ladies living alone."

The first victim, a retired 70-yearold woman who lives in Dipton, County Durham, suffers mobility problems and is vulnerable, the court heard.

Ramsay snr pressured her into allowing him to arrange for a new kitchen to be fitted for PS9,600 in May 2015.

The work, carried out by the Ramsays and others, was later assessed by a surveyor to have been done to a poor standard and the price charged was excessive to the tune of PS4,000.

Such was the shoddy nature of the work, it took almost PS3,000 for above board tradesmen to put it right, meaning the total loss to the victim was close to PS7,000.

Judge Gittins told them: "It was fraudulent and incompetent.

"She has been left shaken by what happened and has found herself feeling even more vulnerable as a lady living alone at that age, because of your behaviour towards her, both of you and others who were responsible."

Ramsay jnr appeared at magistrates court on February 3 last year in relation to a preliminary hearing for that offence.

That same day, having been bailed, he was at it again.

Along with an unidentified man, he went to the home of a vulnerable elderly lady who has mental and physical difficulties.

Judge Gittins said: "That did not stop you from seeking to abuse her, in fact that is the reason you chose to perpetrate another fraud."

Without giving her the opportunity to object, Ramsay jnr told her he was going to replace a small section of guttering.

Judge Gittins said: "There was no indication any work was required.

"Then you effectively took her for every penny she had in the house, by asking how much she had.

"She handed over PS150 and if that was not bad enough you realised she was a soft touch and returned the next day and drove her to her building society and there, to put it neutrally, you convinced her to withdraw a further PS700."

The brazen conman returned a third time to see what more he could get but pictures were taken and he was identified and arrested.

The court heard Ramsay jnr has 22 previous convictions, including for a fraud in 2014 when he attended the home of an 86-year-old woman and convinced her to have some work done.

He returned the following day with two other men and demanded PS900 for four hours of work then returned and demanded a further PS1,800, which was paid.

An 82-year-old woman targeted was driven to a bank and convinced to withdrawn PS5,000.

In relation to the new offences, Ramsay jnr, 32, of Valley View, Lemington, Newcastle, pleaded guilty to two counts of fraud and driving while disqualified. He was jailed for 22 months.

Ramsay snr, 56, of Silver Lonnen, Newcastle, admitted one count of fraud and was jailed for 10 months.

Andrew Walker, for Ramsey jnr, said his role was 'peripheral' in relation to the first offence.

Referring to his remand in custody, he added: "He has been deprived of his family life and the birth of a child in April 2017.

"That has brought home to him not only the seriousness of this offending but the futility of it in a way one would hope would signal the end of this kind of offending."

John Wilkinson, for Ramsay snr, said: "It's clear as far as the kitchen is concerned there were others involved, in particular someone who was called Shaun."

Mr Wilkinson said Ramsay's wife was struck by a car in 2005 and was left unable to speak and in a wheelchair. She died in January 2016 of sepsis.

He is trying to open a boxing club in Blaydon, Mr Wilkinson added.


Joseph Ramsay jnr, jailed for frauds on the elderly
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Jan 20, 2018
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