Wales

Machynlleth handyman jailed for defrauding pensioner

Toby Hamilton has been jailed for ten months Image copyright Andrew Price
Image caption Toby Hamilton was jailed for ten months at Mold Crown Court

A handyman and gardener has been jailed for ten months at Mold Crown Court after taking advantage of a pensioner.

Toby Hamilton, 24, of Machynlleth, admitted fraud and acquiring criminal property.

His wife, Charlotte Hamilton, 23, pleaded guilty to concealing criminal property and received a four-month suspended prison sentence with rehabilitation.

Judge Rhys Rowlands described the offending as "born out of greed."

The victim, Hywel Davies, from Newtown, was described as "an extremely vulnerable individual who suffered from ill-health".

Judge Rowlands said: "You, Mr Hamilton, came across him after placing a flyer through his door, advertising gardening work, and you began to visit him.

'Mean fraud'

"You described him as someone who became a friend. Despite this, you took advantage of him."

The judge said Toby Hamilton was the "prime mover" in what happened and that the offences had a profound effect on the late pensioner's family.

"It was a very mean fraud committed over a period of time," Judge Rowlands said.

Prosecuting, Jo Maxwell said by the time the fraud came to light Mr Davies's financial affairs were being overseen by power of attorney through solicitors.

They alerted his daughter to their suspicions in December 2015.

The Hamiltons used fraudulent cheques to steal £4,000.

A future proceeds of crime hearing is expected to establish where the money went and if any can be paid back.

Jade Tufail, defending Mr Hamilton, said at the time of the fraud the couple had been living in a caravan with Mrs Hamilton expecting a first child.

Brian Treadwell, defending Mrs Hamilton, said she had no direct contact with the victim. She wrote some of the cheques but did not sign them.

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