News item

Conman jailed for a string of fraud offences

Photo of David Williams. Jailed for fraud offences

Liverpool Crown Court heard 'wicked' conman David Williams charged Wirral pensioner £7,500 for fuse box he never even fitted. 

David Williams, 34, from Prenton, Wirral was described at Liverpool Crown Court as a "wicked" conman who cheated the state out of tens of thousands of pounds by claiming he was wheelchair-bound when he was actually running an aerial-fitting business that involved him climbing up ladders and onto roofs.

David Williams also callously charged an 89-year-old Wirral consumer £7,500 for a fuse box, which he never even fitted, using his ill-gotten gains to purchase himself a new van which carried logos, as did his website, claiming he was affiliated with various trade bodies, all of which was untrue.

Williams had previously pleaded guilty to a string of fraud offences brought by the DWP and Wirral Trading Standards. Williams was jailed for a total of three years and three months – 27 months for defrauding the Wirral consumer and 12 months for the benefit frauds. In jailing him Judge Denis Watson, QC said the elderly woman, who was housebound and lived on her own, lost trust in anyone calling at her Wirral home afterwards and "lived out the last year of her life effectively without opening her door."

"The impact on her of the offence, I have no doubt, accelerated the decline in her health," "You performed a wicked con-trick on her, conning her out of £7,500 so you could buy yourself a van," said Judge Watson. 

The pensioner was left upset and frightened. Her health deteriorated and she no longer trusted anyone.

When her concerned friend and neighbour pursued the matter, Williams "blustered and bluffed and did his best to intimidate her," said Judge Watson.

By the time his dishonest activities came to light, he had obtained £120,878 in benefits over an eight-year period.

He obtained money from the DWP by purporting he was too immobile to work, and the rest from HMRC by claiming he was working and needed top-up his tax credits.

He also obtained child care credits for his five children and "particularly callously and cynically you told lies that two were disabled," said the judge.

Liverpool Crown Court heard that when Williams told the DWP in 2005 that he was unable to walk, he spoke of hoping for an operation so he could get back to work.

Williams, of Prenton, pleaded guilty to five DWP fraud offences spanning eight years and five trading standards offences involving fraud and engaging in unfair commercial practices.

Following the sentencing, Cllr Bernie Mooney, Wirral council cabinet member for environment and sustainability, said: “The tragedy is that the victim in this case is not around to see justice served.

“Williams’ behaviour in stealing from this elderly, vulnerable lady in such a way was despicable in the extreme and the 27 month sentence reflects the seriousness of what he did. It is credit to the hard work and tenacity of Wirral Trading Standards officers, working alongside police colleagues and those from the Department of Work and Pensions, that he has not got away with it.”

“I’d advise any resident, if you have concerns over the conduct of a trader or if you need advice regarding cold callers, please contact Trading Standards by phoning on 03454 04 05 06.”

DATE: 16 December 2014