TWO fraudsters who fleeced a disabled man before burgling his house as he watched have been jailed.
Aaron Phillips, 26, now faces a police investigation into whether he attempted to pervert the course of justice by misleading the judge who sentenced him and his girlfriend Robyn Louise Evans, 25.
Jo Shepherd, prosecuting, told York Crown Court the couple befriended the victim when the battery of his mobility scooter failed as he was travelling home and under the ruse of their “friendship” repeatedly took his bank card.
They used it to withdraw a total of £1,630 from his bank account as well as persuading him to lend them money with various stories.
When the victim realised what was going on and barred them from his house, Phillips smashed the security box containing his house key with a hammer and jemmy.
As Evans kept a lookout, he walked in and took the bank card out of its drawer in front of the victim’s eyes and walked out.
Forty-five minutes later, Phillips used the card twice to take £200 from the victim’s bank account.
When he appeared for sentence before Judge Andrew Stubbs QC, Phillips claimed he had to care for his seriously ill father.
But since the couple had told the victim 12 months earlier the father had two days to live, the judge asked for medical confirmation, and when Phillips failed to provide any the judge ordered a transcript of the court proceedings to be sent to police for them to investigate.
The judge told the pair about their crimes: “You intended to milk him (the disabled man) for everything you could get.”
He said of the burglary after the victim defied the couple: “You were obviously upset by his bravery and resolve and determined you hadn’t finished fleecing him for every penny you could get.”
Phillips admitted seven charges of fraud and one of burglary and was jailed for four and a half years. Evans, who lived with him in Shambles, York, pleaded guilty to one charge of fraud and one of burglary and was jailed for two years and eight months.
For Phillips, Hannah Lynch said he was deeply remorseful for his crimes, committed when he had been a heroin addict. His father had refused permission for his doctor to talk to the son’s lawyers.
For Evans, Neal Kutte said she was a vulnerable young woman who had played a subordinate role.