Men who conned widow out of £73,500 jailed

Hughie Doherty, left, and his brother Francis conned an OAP out of almost �74,000
Hughie Doherty, left, and his brother Francis conned an OAP out of almost �74,000

Two men who persuaded an elderly dementia sufferer to leave large amounts of cash at a bus stop and a lay-by have been jailed for a total of eight-and-a-half years.

Hughie Doherty, 31, of Newton Road, Rushden, his brother Francis, 36, of Gipsy Lane, Irchester, and their brother-in-law David Young, 31, of Arrington near Royston, conned their 84-year-old victim out of £73,500.

They were caught when her bank manager became suspicious as they tried to get another £15,000 from the widow, who lived in Bedfordshire.

The brothers claimed they played no part in the theft and made their living breeding horses, but were convicted by a jury at Luton Crown Court at an earlier hearing.

Young pleaded guilty to the charges of theft and attempted theft.

In the summer of 2010, the woman, who was in the early stages of dementia, received a call from a man calling himself Oliver who said he was a solicitor.

He claimed he could help her get back the £25,000 she had lost when she had been the victim of conmen, who had also claimed they could retrieve the money she had handed over to ‘lawyers’ after shoddy work had been carried out on her driveway in 2004.

In the following months, she got cash out of her bank account eight times and left it at a bus stop near her home or at a nearby lay-by.

In March 2011 the woman’s bank manager became concerned when she asked when an insurance policy would mature.

He checked her account and discovered the eight earlier withdrawals. He called her son, who contacted the police.

A trap was set and police were watching when a Land-Rover Discovery with three men inside was seen driving slowly past the woman’s home. Inside the car were the brothers plus their brother-in-law.

Francis and Hughie Doherty pleaded not guilty to the theft of £73,700 from the woman between June of 2010 and February of 2011. They denied a second charge of attempting to steal £15,000 from her on the day of their arrest.

They were convicted of both charges. Young pleaded guilty to the charges.

Hughie Doherty was in breach of a 12-month sentence suspended for two years passed at Northampton Crown Court on January 5, 2010, for fraud by false representation.

Judge Stuart Bridge sentenced him to five years on Monday. He jailed Young for three-and-a-half years.

Sentencing on Francis Doherty was adjourned as his barrister was not present.