Fraudster duped victims out of almost £7,000

A NORTH Northumberland man who defrauded three people out of nearly £7,000 with a series of sob-stories will be sentenced by a judge at Newcastle Crown Court after admitting his guilt.

John Mitchell Twemlow, of Chapel Court, Seahouses, appeared before South East Northumberland Magistrates Court last Wednesday, charged with 11 counts of committing fraud by false representation.

The 48-year-old dishonestly borrowed £6,070 from one of his alleged victims, while two others gave him a further £350 each after he duped them with hard-luck tales concerning his personal circumstances.

They included claims that his car had been impounded, he had lost his passport, needed to pay garage bills and that his mother had died.

Twemlow targeted residents in Cramlington, described as being between the ages of 50 and 80, starting on April 15, when he told one man that he had lost £3,000. He was loaned £320, but returned two days later to ask for a further £300, which he received.

Three days later, he went back again, claiming he had been accused of theft and needed £1,250 for legal fees, which was also given to him.

On April 26, Twemlow visited another resident, saying that he needed £350 to replace his car windscreen, which he would repay. The day after, he told the same story to his third victim, gaining a further £350.

Between May 3 and 6, Twemlow went back to his first victim five times, first borrowing £350 for ‘garage bills’, followed by another £750 which he said he needed to prevent his car from being impounded.

He then claimed that his mother had suffered a stroke and he needed £1,250 for board and lodging, which was given.But he was back twice the following day – first to ask for a further £750, then claiming he had lost his passport and asking for an extra £300. Again, his victim parted with the money on provision that it was paid back.

On May 9, Twemlow made his last visit when he told how his mother had just died and that he needed £3,000 for funeral costs. He walked away with £800.

Sentencing was adjourned to a date yet to be fixed.