Trio jailed for conning pensioners
Three men who conned pensioners out of thousands of pounds by claiming their homes were infested with vermin have been jailed. Brothers Errol (47) and Timothy Flynn (36) and their partner in crime, a 16-year-old who cannot be named because of his age, were all jailed at Birmingham Crown Court following an elaborate undercover police operation.
The trio were put behind bars for a total of almost 11 years having been found guilty of fraud dating back to March, when police received information a 76-year-old man had fallen victim to conmen.
The pensioner told police in January a fraudster attended his Quinton home claiming to be from the Environment Agency. He alleged he was investigating reports of a rat infestation and needed to examine his attic. The pensioner let the man into the attic where and he came down holding a dead rat as evidence of the infestation. The homeowner was told it would cost £25,000 to cure the problem and if he didn’t pay up his home would be condemned. The pensioner said he couldn’t afford this but the con artist put him on the phone to a bogus ‘boss’ who said they could take regular cash payments of £2,500. ’Work’ began on the property with the pensioner even ordered out of the property at one point to stay in a hotel.
When officers visited the man, he told them that the next instalment was due and it was agreed the pensioner would withdraw £2,500 from his savings. Police forensic teams recorded the serial numbers and marked the bundle. Undercover officers then took up positions around the house and waited for the fraudsters to return for the cash. The 16-year-old was dropped off and photographed collecting the money before getting into a car. When the car stopped in Harborne, officers swooped and arrested the two Flynn brothers and the teen. The teenager and Timothy refused to comment on the crimes while Errol denied any involvement blaming the boy for handing him a bundle of bank notes. As part of the investigation police identified a second victim in Solihull.
When officers spoke to the 84-year-old, the former police officer revealed he was approached by two cold-callers offering to power clean the driveway of his Olton home. One of the workers went to the garden tap and returned with a handful of insects telling the homeowner that his veranda was infested with woodworm. They said for £18,000 they could replace the roof and cure the problem. The victim settled on a sum of £13,000 and the crooks agreed to payment by instalments. Part of veranda was dismantled but the bogus builders then claimed to have discovered a mouse infestation. The pensioner was told they knew a man who could sort the problem for £1,000. Bank records showed £25,000 was withdrawn by the victim over the course of the con.
Detective Constable Deborah Simmonds led the investigation. She said: “This was a distressing case to investigate knowing that these vulnerable older men had been taken in by these despicable fraudsters. ”The money that these honest men had worked so hard for all their lives was drained by criminals who deliberately preyed on them. ”I hope the victims have some closure knowing that the Flynn brothers and the teenager have been put behind bars where they cannot harm other elderly people. “ Despite the efforts of financial investigators, none of the money stolen was ever traced or recovered. Errol Flynn was sentenced to four years and six months, Timothy Flynn received five years and four months and the teen was jailed for eight months.