Wensleydale man jailed for theft from elderly Darlington resident

Jack Banks. Photo: Darlington Constabulary.

A Wensleydale man has been jailed for defrauding a vulnerable pensioner out of more than £2,000.

Jack Banks moved into his elderly victim’s home in Darlington before stealing his bank card and using his savings to fund his drug addiction.

The 21-year-old also took his victim’s money and food without permission.

Concerned neighbours alerted police to the activity at the house, which had gone on for a period of time.

Two response officers worked together with safeguarding officers to gather evidence and safeguard the vulnerable victim.

As a result of their investigation, Banks, of Scott Hill, Bainbridge, was charged with theft, harassment and 18 charges of committing fraud.

He pleaded guilty to the offences and appeared at Teesside Crown Court last week where he was jailed for 14 months.

Investigative Officer Heidi Weir, from Darlington Safeguarding Team, led the investigation. She said: “This was a complex investigation which involved a number of officers from both the Darlington safeguarding team and response team.

“Two response officers in particular went above and beyond to ensure Banks was brought to justice – they were incredibly persistent, victim-focussed and worked extremely hard to secure a conviction.

“This was a sickening crime in which Banks befriended an elderly, vulnerable man and gained his trust, with the sole intention of stealing from him.

“I am pleased the judge recognised this by imposing a custodial sentence.

“If anybody suspects one of their elderly relatives, friends or neighbours to be victim of a similar crime then please contact us – we will do everything we can to bring the offenders to justice and to safeguard our elderly and vulnerable members of the community.

“You can call us on 101, or report it anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”