A DESPICABLE fraudster has been jailed after ripping off 40 pensioners for more than £250,000 and using some of the cash to buy a brand-new BMW.

William King, of Moss Drive in Middlewich, fleeced his victims by persuading them to have work done to their static caravan homes when it wasn’t even required.

In one instance, the “out-and-out fraudster” conned an 81-year-old Frodsham woman out of £27,500 to fit insulation and repairs to the underside of her caravan – the work carried out was so bad it actually caused damage to her home and required remedial work to fix it.

His Honour Judge Everett told King he was a “disgusting and despicable person” and “a menace” to the public – particularly those considered to be vulnerable – as he jailed him for six years.

King admitted five counts of fraud by false representation, with his victims all aged between 69 and 88 years taking them for a total of £77,550 between May and August 2021.

However, he also admitted to 35 similar offences around the country, totalling £179,850 from September 2017 onwards.

Frances Willmott, prosecuting at Chester Crown Court on Monday, May 9, said King would target his victims and often provide them with quotes using the name ‘John’ from a bogus company called Luxury Park Home Refurbishment.

“The standard of work was so poor,” she said

“The work was not necessary and caused damage to the caravans.”

She explained how around £30,000 of payments made for the work were sent directly to the bank account of Lookers BMW in Crewe, from who King had ordered a £45,000 car.

“Lookers BMW became suspicious as to where the money was coming from and reported him over potential money laundering,” Ms Willmott added.

“The car was delivered to King but he was arrested in it the next day after a police chase.”

Winsford Guardian: William King conned pensioners out of thousandsWilliam King conned pensioners out of thousands

Reading out a victim personal statement to the court, 83-year-old Iris Hopkins, one of the pensioners conned by King, said she was angry she had been taken advantage of.

She said: “I do not trust people now.

“I also feel embarrassed that he took me for a ride.

“I am a widow and I have nobody to talk to about these things.”

Raj Chopra, defending, said his client was now “a changed man” and that his problems had been fuelled by alcohol and drug addictions.

“Mr King has since married and has now turned a corner and wants to put a life of crime behind him and be a good citizen of this country,” he said.

“He told me he wishes he could turn the clock back.

“He is going to write a letter to each of his victims to show his remorse is from the heart.”

Judge Everett didn’t believe a word of it, telling King, who appeared via video-link, that the only person he was sorry for was himself.

“You are a disgusting and despicable person,” he said.

“You are a menace to people in the autumn of their years.

“You rip them off and then you disappear.

“It’s all about greed and in this case, for a £40,000 BMW.

“You deserve to go to prison.

“The reality is, you’re an out-and out-fraudster.

“You give the Travelling community a really bad name – you are a rotten apple.”