Friday, 14 December 2018

Pair convicted of swindling pensioner out of £519,000

TWO men have been convicted of conning a Goring pensioner out of £519,000 over two decades.

TWO men have been convicted of conning a Goring pensioner out of £519,000 over two decades.

Stephen Green and Clive Smith were found guilty of defrauding Leslie Drain, of Summerfield Rise, between 1992 and 2011.

The pair intimidated Dr Drain into paying them for housework and investing in a farm in the New Forest, Oxford Crown Court was told.

Green and Smith claimed to have carried out work on the farm, including the installation of a bridge and fencing.

However, the site was only a small plot of land with a mobile home.

The court heard Dr Drain continued to pay large sums of money to Green as the intimidation continued.

Oxfordshire Trading Standards and Thames Valley Police began investigating the pair following a complaint to Crimestoppers.

They arrested Green and searched his home in Newbridge, near Southampton, in March 2011.

The 63-year-old was convicted of two counts of fraud against Dr Drain and jailed for six years.

Smith, 36, of Eliot Close, Thatcham, was found guilty on one count. He was sentenced to 18 months in prison suspended for two years and was ordered to carry out 200 hours of community service and pay £23,333 compensation to Dr Drain’s estate.

Dr Drain, a retired physicist, died last year before the case could be brought to court.

Ch Insp Mark Johns said: “These were two despicable individuals who preyed on an elderly man, conning him out of excessive amounts of money.

“Sadly, Dr Drain is no longer alive to witness their convictions but he was very relieved that he had the last year of his life without being pestered by these individuals.”

Dr Drain lived in Goring from 1961 until his death, aged 85, early last year.

He worked as a physicist at the Harwell Atomic Energy Research Establishment before retiring in 1987.

Dr Drain was a member of the Chiltern Society Rights of Way group for more than 40 years and was made chairman of the Ramblers’ Association’s Streatley branch in 2004.

In 2008, he was awarded an MBE for voluntary services to the environment.

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