Pendle conmen jailed for preying on vulnerable man

Luke Franks
Luke Franks

Three career criminals have been jailed for harassing a vulnerable man for money in a campaign that went on for months.

Luke Franks spotted Mr Paul Horan as a likely prey and he was later joined in his campaign by Dean Mortimer and Mark McConnell. They called repeatedly at his house in Crabtree Street, Colne, at first saying they had done work on his house, and later just demanding cash.

Dean Mortimer

Dean Mortimer

Mr Horan was walked to a cash point four times in one week, taking £958 from his account. In total, the men acquired £1,880 from him.

Franks (24), of Talbot Street, Colne, and Mortimer (42), of Derby Street, Nelson, were each jailed for 16 months. Mortimer is currently serving three years for burglary and committed the con while on bail. His 16 months will be added at the end of his the sentence.

McConnell, of Duke Street, Colne, was jailed for 10 months. He had just been released from prison on licence and has been recalled to serve out his sentence.

Judge Beverly Lunt said their enterprise was despicable. She issued a restraining order against the three men. They must not contact their victim by any means, including social media, for 10 years, neither must they enter Crabtree Street.

The court was told Franks first identified Mr Horan in December last year when he told him he needed work doing on his roof. Franks, and another man, spent an hour there and charged him £768.

Franks and McConnell went round to the house in March, saying they were owed £160 for work, and in April Mortimer went to the house to claim money. He walked Mr Horan to the cash point on consecutive days, taking out £520, £70, £300 and lastly £68.

Mr Horan called the police when the men would call again, so they lay in wait.

Franks was arrested when he arrived, Mortimer was identified on CCTV and McConnell walked into the police station of his own accord. All three denied any involvement.