Jail for fraudster who cashed cheques from the elderly

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Michael Godber targeted two victims

A fraudster who cashed cheques from vulnerable pensioners has been jailed.

Michael Godber targeted two victims, Nottingham Crown Court heard.

He left a 79-year-old he called “auntie” feeling like a “foolish old lady” after he drew £1,000 in cheques from her bank account.

The disabled wheelchair user realised Godber’s name had been one of the payees.

“She had known the defendant for some years,” said prosecutor Sarah Munro. “He visited her regularly and called her auntie. She thought of him as family”.

Godber, of Spindle Gardens, Snapewood, Bulwell, also took £1,800 in cheques from a 74-year-old man.

This victim gave him three cheques after discussing repair work.

“He was left feeling extremely foolish,” said Miss Munro. “He has been taken advantage of by a man he trusted. The offence left him paranoid about people offering to help him”.

Godber had a lengthy history of dishonesty. In 2001 he was working door-to-door and sold goods to a woman. He charged her too much and made off with the payment.

In 2010 he attempted to cash a cheque from an elderly victim.

And in March 2015 he befriended a man with mental health issues in sheltered accommodation and withdrew £500, but claimed he took £170.

Judge Nigel Godsmark QC sentenced him to 33 months concurrently on two fraud charges he pleaded guilty to. He also imposed restraining orders on Godber not to contact the victim.

He told him in the dock this was “targeting elderly and vulnerable people” and he had a history of that type of offending.

“This targeting of vulnerable, elderly people is despicable,” he said.

Digby Johnson, mitigating, said the first offence happened in 2014, and the later offence in 2016.

“He served a custodial sentence in 2015 for production of cannabis.

“He was someone who was addicted to cannabis and alcohol. He hasn’t smoked any cannabis since the middle of 2016. He has drunk on special occasions. He is now free of drugs and drink”.

He also said he had been offered work putting out cones for £16-an-hour and he would be able to pay back money.

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