'Heartless' Bristol conman detained for swindling elderly

Charles Casey
Image caption Charles Casey will begin his sentence in a young offenders institution

A conman who swindled tens of thousands of pounds out of elderly people has been detained for five years.

Charles Casey, 21, of Bristol, conned an 88-year-old Wokingham man out of his £360,000 life savings after claiming his roof needed work.

Reading Crown Court heard he also helped scam more than £100,000 from an elderly woman and her son in Exeter.

Casey, who admitted fraud, will serve the start of his sentence in a young offenders institution.

The court heard Casey was also part of a £1m building scam when he was 15 and 16-years-old.

Judge Nicholas Wood said Casey had taken part in "cynical, sophisticated, heartless asset-stripping".

The judge accepted Casey, a member of the travelling community, had "limited involvement" in the Exeter case.

'Embarrassed and humiliated'

In the first fraud, Casey approached Ronald Dew, now 90, and told the pensioner his roof was in need of repair in July 2010.

He requested cheques for the work, which was never carried out.

When Mr Dew tried to cancel the work, he received calls from people saying he should not contact the police.

"More cash payments were made, more cheques written out and more transfers made," prosecuting barrister Daniel Fugallo told the court.

He said the series of events left Mr Dew "clearly very embarrassed and humiliated".

Although he is now 21, Casey will begin his sentence in a young offenders institution due to his age at the time of pleading guilty.

He may be moved to an adult prison at a later date.

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