Disabled Louth man ‘cheated’ women out of more than £1,000

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A 54-year-old disabled Louth man cheated two women out of more than £1,000 by pretending to be his own son, a court has heard.

Ian Leak, of Park Avenue, was given a suspended prison sentence after appearing at Boston Magistrates Court on Tuesday.

Magistrates said the women’s ‘kindness and generosity’ had been abused.

Leak admitted dishonestly obtaining £350 by pretending to be Kieran Leak to buy a freezer - and £1,000 by pretending to be Tim Leak to go and visit a sick grandchild.

Dan Pietrykas, prosecuting, said Leak, who remained seated throughout the proceedings, became friends through the Jehova’s Witnesses with a woman named Christine Coxen, who passed two amounts of £500 to him between October and November last year.

He told her his name was ‘Tim Leak’ and that his grandson was ill and in hospital and that he had to go and see him.

Mr Pietrykas said he also became friends with a Karen Kendall and in March 2015, she gave him £350 to buy a new fridge/freezer after he told her his name was Kieran Leak, the name of his real- life son.

Mr Pietrykas told the court police were informed and Leak was interviewed in June 2016.

Although there were some denials, Leak admitted making up the names and lying about having a sick grandson.

Mitigating, Elizabeth Hart said Leak suffered from ‘very serious ill health’ and had multiple sclerosis.

She said his long term relationship had ended just before these offences, leaving him very isolated.

She said he started leading a fantasy life and making phone calls to people who had befriended him.

Ms Hart said he did suffer from genuine financial hardship and had he explained his true situation to the people concerned, they would probably have given him the money anyway.

She said he had no previous convictions and that his appearance in court was a ‘significant punishment’ for him.

Magistrates told Leak he had ‘abused’ the women concerned by duping them into parting with their money and that other ‘more deserving parties were unable to receive that money’.

They told him it warranted a custodial sentence of two months imprisonment but decided to suspend it for 12 months.

He was also ordered to pay compensation of £1,350.