A CONMAN who preyed on the elderly and infirm has been jailed for three and a half years.
John Boy Hamer's tactics were described as 'despicable' when a court yesterday banned him from calling at any home in the UK offering services, a band which will be enforced when he leaves prison.
Hamer, 31, was arrested in a raid on his caravan home by Cheshire police and trading standards officers.
Chester Crown Court heard he had cold-called five elderly residents in areas including Chester, Tarvin and Tarporley, claiming their houses were in need of maintenance and demanding cash payments on the spot.
The defendant, of Travellers Rest caravan site, Rilshaw Lane, Winsford, admitted three charges of obtaining money by deception between July, 2005, and January, 2006.
Hamer targeted infirm residents, including Nancy Kershaw, 82, from Tarvin and Albert Sant, 90, from Tarporley.
Two other cases were also taken into consideration, includingthedeceptionof Alfred Hatton, 87, from Upton. All three have severe mobility problems.
Hamer carefully planned his crimes, pretending to know close family members and neighbours to gain trust.
He was threatening and even drove some of his victims to cash points to extract the money.
Despite his disability, Mr Hatton was made to walk some of the way home and was conned out of £320.
Hamer often claimed he had already completed work on the houses and, in Mrs Kershaw's case, claimed he had fixed her drain pipe, knowing she could not get out of the house to see it.
Mrs Kershaw gave him £60 but he returned the next day to try to get another £80 from her.
Hamer managed to con his victims out of almost £2,000 in total and the only work he carried out was a botched tiling job on a Winsford house.
Sentencing Hamer yesterday, Recorder Nicholas Parry said: 'This is a series of extremely serious and despicable acts that will sicken any right minded person.
'You deliberately targeted vulnerable, infirm,elderly people. You cynically took advantage of them.
Society expects us to look after and respect elderly people.'
The recorded imposed an Anti-Social Behaviour Order (ASBO) which means Hamer is banned from calling on homes to offer services.