A criminal gang who fleeced elderly and vulnerable people out of thousands of pounds have been handed substantial prison sentences.
The six men, who were jailed at Leeds Crown Court last week, had purposefully targeted victims in their seventies, eighties and nineties.
In what was later described as doorstep “terrorism”, the gang visited homes across the Yorkshire area, including Leeds, Wakefield and Huddersfield.
In most cases they offered to carry out building work on the pensioners’ homes and charged inflated prices for a very shoddy job. Victims would be intimidated into paying, often taken to cashpoints to withdraw the money against their will.
Other offences – the bulk of which were committed between January and May 2014 – saw the men pose as officials from “the water board.”
The group were finally brought to justice following a lengthy investigation by West Yorkshire Police, who compiled forensic and CCTV evidence over the course of several months.
Inspector Anthony Scopelliti, who led the investigation, said: “This was an organised criminal gang that was preying on the weakest and most vulnerable in our communities purely for financial gain.
“This was done in a planned and orchestrated way without any thought for the impact their offending was having on these elderly victims. They would go back to the same victims again and again to try and take everything they could from them.
“These men are utterly beneath contempt and we hope the significant sentences they have received will provide some level of reassurance to their victims and to the wider community.”
The prison sentences imposed total almost 50 years.
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