A PENSIONER was left struggling financially after his gambling addict milkman tricked him into handing over his savings.
Peter Fairhurst, 33, “borrowed” almost £3,000 in various sums from him over a year, a court heard.
He gave 84-year-old Frederick Heaton various “sob stories” about why he needed to borrow money such as saying he could not afford to feed his children.
But he was actually spending the money gambling and meanwhile his victim, who was not as affluent as Fairhurst had thought, was left struggling to meet his own food bills.
He handed over the cash, in amounts of about £200, by using money from a bank account he had set up to cover the cost of his funeral.
By the time concerned relatives discovered what was going on the account was empty, said Harry Pepper, prosecuting.
Fairhurst, of Belfry Crescent, Standish, pleaded guilty to fraud and was sentenced to 36 weeks’ imprisonment suspended for 12 months.
He was also placed under supervision for 12 months, ordered to carry out 200 hours unpaid work and placed under a 12 week curfew with a tag between 7pm and 7am.
Mr Pepper told Liverpool Crown Court that altogether over the 12 months ending in August last year Fairhurst obtained a total of £2,800.
His “mothering” sob stories also included saying his cooker was broken and that the bailiffs were after him.
After the police were contacted, his ex-partner revealed that they had never struggled to feed their children and nor had the cooker broken.
When quizzed Fairhurst, who has no previous convictions, admitted he had a gambling habit and had also been taking out payday loans.
He said he had not realised that his victim had been left struggling financially and finding it difficult to afford food.
Duncan Phillips, defending, said that Fairhurst was remorseful and ashamed.
He has since managed to repay all the money to the victim.