'˜Brazen' fraudster from Barnacle jailed for conning park home owners

A conman from Barnacle and his brother were condemned as '˜greedy and unscrupulous' by a judge after defrauding vulnerable pensioners out of more than £100,000.

Wednesday, 3rd May 2017, 11:48 am
Updated Tuesday, 9th May 2017, 8:21 pm
John Henry King, 34, of Top Park traveller's site, Barnacle, was jailed after conning vulnerable pensioners out of thousands of pounds with his brother. Photo: North Yorkshire Police NNL-170305-113756001

John Henry King, 34, of Top Park traveller’s site, and his brother Nathan, 38, who traded together as Guardian Park Homes Ltd, were jailed at Newcastle Crown Court on Friday.

The 27 separate frauds involved the deliberate targeting of park home property owners on sites across the country from Northumberland to Somerset.

The brothers claimed they could fit external under-floor insulation to park home properties, said jacks supporting the properties needed replacing and sometimes frightened victims saying their homes could collapse.

Nathan King, 38, of Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire. Photo: North Yorkshire Police NNL-170305-113807001

Victims were charged extortionate amounts for poor quality and unnecessary works.

The brothers were arrested in August, 2015, during joint operations with Gloucestershire, Warwickshire and Lincolnshire police.

Their foreman, Leon Williams, 29, of Coventry, was also sentenced after pleading guilty to his part in the frauds by leading the gangs of workers, suggesting additional works to properties, completing company paperwork and taking payment from victims.

Nathan King, of Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire, and his brother pleaded guilty on the first day of their trial at Teesside Crown Court.

Nathan King, 38, of Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire. Photo: North Yorkshire Police NNL-170305-113807001

The court heard victims’ statements, describing damage to their health and confidence, the extent of the financial problems the offending had caused them and their loss of faith in engaging with traders.

Judge Stephen Ashurst told the men: “This is in my judgement a bad case of its type. You are brazen, greedy and unscrupulous men.”

The Kings were each sentenced to 30 months’ imprisonment. Williams was given 10 months suspended for two years and ordered to undertake 200 hours of unpaid work for the community.

Nathan King was also disqualified from being a company director for five years.

An agreement was reached with the defence for £112,930 to be paid from the Kings’ frozen bank accounts to compensate all 27 victims in full.

Speaking after the case, North Yorkshire County Council’s Matt O’Neill said: “This case demonstrates yet again the unscrupulous and determined way in which doorstep crime offenders are prepared to target the most vulnerable and cause them financial detriment and distress.”