Stotfold man jailed for stealing £81k from elderly couple

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A Stotfold man defrauded an elderly and vulnerable couple out of tens of thousands of pounds in the space of just a few months, leaving them with just £25 to live on.

Abdul Rimaaz, 34, had offered to build a walk-in wet room at the couple’s property in Steeple Morden, near Royston, and work began in April 2015.

However, the work was poor quality, worth only about £6,500, despite Rimaaz quoting them £14,000 for the job and the total amount taken through bank transfers, cheques and credit card balances was more than £81,000.

The couple were already struggling as the man was suffering from dementia and he died in February last year.

Rimaaz, of Salisbury Close, Stotfold, was arrested in July 2015 after a relative realised the work being carried out was inadequate.

On Thursday (19 October) Rimaaz was jailed for two years at Cambridge Crown Court after pleading guilty to fraud by false representation and possessing a bank card for use in connection with fraud.

Det Sgt Andrew Gaunt-Warner said: “Rimaaz behaved despicably, befriending and then manipulating this vulnerable couple in order to exploit them for this own gain.

“The money he was taking from the couple’s account left them penniless and workers at the property broke their washing machine, meaning the lady had to hand wash clothes.

“The case reflects how seriously this type of fraud, targeting vulnerable people, is treated by police and the courts.”

The court heard Rimaaz first met the couple in April 2007 while door-to-door canvassing for a windows firm. They agreed for work to be done but once it was complete Rimaaz stayed in touch, calling daily and visiting.

In 2013, he turned up unannounced and spoke to the man, who was already suffering from dementia, to suggest they would benefit from the wet room.

He gave a quote for the work in February 2015 and the work began in the spring.

During the spring and summer, Rimaaz defrauded them of tens of thousands of pounds, taking out loans, credit cards and overdrafts in their name.

On the 6 July, the woman went to her bank in Royston with a relative and was told £51,000 had been removed from their account. Realising something was wrong, the relative called police.

They had been left with less than £25 in their accounts and had to be supported by a local trust fund to get them by.

Rimaaz was jailed for two years for fraud by false representation and 16 months for the bank card fraud, to run concurrently.