'Evil' fraudster facing jail after conning pensioner

Christopher McKillop (s)
Christopher McKillop (s)
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An "absolutely evil" conman and thief who preys on vulnerable pensioners and steals their savings is behind bars facing another jail term.

Christopher Roland McKillop's latest victim lost almost £3,000 when he was targeted by the heartless fraudster.

Mr William Burrows, who lives in the Pendle area, was left so upset he was unable to sleep. McKillop later told police he had been high on drugs when he took the 81-year-old's bank card and used it repeatedly, Burnley magistrates heard.

The court was told McKillop had given Mr Burrows a bank card back - the defendant's own, with his name on.

McKillop (36), formerly of Padham and Burnley, struck whilst subject to a suspended jail term, imposed last January, after he used the bank card of a 92-year-old woman suffering from dementia.

McKillop is now in custody awaiting his fate at the town's crown court, after he was committed for sentence. He has recently been living in Redcar, where he was said to have gone to start a new life on the victim's money and where he was arrested on January 3rd.

He admitted six counts of theft or fraud, last August. Bench chairwoman Mrs Janet Pickup told him: "Not only is it dishonest, its evil. It's absolutely evil and it's not the first time you have done it."

Prosecutor Mrs Tracy Yates told the hearing that last August Mr Burrows was at home when there was a knock on his door.

An unknown man - the defendant - persuaded the victim to let him in and told him he needed some work done on his roof as it had a leak.

Mrs Yates continued: "That leak had been mended by a builder earlier in the year but needed painting. Mr Burrows took his word for it and allowed him to deal with the alleged leak. Mr Burrows can't use cash machines due to his age. He only goes to the bank.

"He gave the male his bank card and PIN number, trusting he would take the correct amount. The defendant made several withdrawals and paid for a number of items using that card over the next few days. He did give the victim a bank card back, but gave him his own bank card, in the name of Christopher McKillop."

Mrs Yates said a few days later, Mr Burrows went into a Halifax branch to withdraw £400. He handed over the bank card he thought was his and the cashier noticed it was in a different name and saw some strange activity on Mr Burrows's account. Police were called.

McKillop took £2,958 from the victim and spent money at Matalan, Next, Argos and Sports Direct. Halifax confirmed the card the victim had was McKillop's and was registered at Elizabeth Street, Burnley.

The prosecutor said the defendant was caught on CCTV using the victim's card at a till at Sports Direct and was actively sought by the police. He was arrested after intelligence led officers to an address in Redcar.

The prosecutor said Mr Burrows told police: "He just kidded me all the way down the line."

The court heard McKillop had 19 previous offences on his record.

Mr Aftab Bakhat, in mitigation, told the court: "There is no defence in respect of my client's actions. There are explanations as to why he has behaved in the manner that he has."

The solicitor said McKillop's partner became pregnant, her parents essentially ensured they did not live together as a couple and that caused great distress and difficulties.

Mr Bakhat continued: "He says that he did resort to drugs. He was living on the streets and did not have a roof over his head. He used the bank card to pay a drugs debt and make a fresh start."

The solicitor added: "There are aggravating features of this case. The offence is distasteful. It's abhorrent. It's the lowest of the low, something which he appreciates now in the cold light of day, but at the time he says he wasn't thinking straight and was fuelled by the drugs. He wishes to apologise for his actions. "