Devon tenant Brian Kiddell sells landlord's home online for £90,000

Brian Kiddell
Image caption Kiddell had lived in the property for four months before putting it up for sale

A tenant who sold his landlord's property on the internet for £90,000, has been jailed.

Brian Kiddell, 75, of Topsham Road, Exeter, posed as the owner of the Newton Abbot property.

The owner of the Devon house only found out when he drove past the For Sale sign after the deal had been completed.

At Exeter Crown Court Kiddell admitted nine charges of fraud, theft, and the dishonest use of a dead man's passport. He was jailed for six years.

The court heard that Kiddell rented the house in Prince Rupert Way, Heathfield, Newton Abbot in the name of Paul Stevenson, who had died in 2004, but whose passport he had obtained.

He posed as owner David Ayton, to put the house up for sale.

Fake death certificate

Mr Gareth Evans, prosecuting, said: "Kiddell had been renting the house for four months when the owner happened, purely by chance, to be driving past and noticed there was a For Sale sign outside the address.

"He contacted his own letting agent and the estate agent and found that it was being sold."

By the time he raised the alarm, Kiddell had completed the sale and made off with the money.

The court also heard that Kiddell tried to access a bank account under a false name to transfer £18,000 after saying the account holder had died and presenting a fake death certificate.

He claimed to be the dead man's brother but the bank blocked the transfer when the real customer was found alive.

Kiddell carried out several other frauds but was caught after applying for a £25,000 loan in the name of Anthony Russell at Barclay's Bank in Launceston, Cornwall.

When Kiddell, posing as Mr Russell, turned up for an appointment he was arrested by plain clothes police.

Mr Stephen Mejzner, defending, said Kiddell was forced to take part in the frauds by an organised crime gang to whom he owed money.

He was sentenced on Wednesday.

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