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Former police officer duped out of £30,000 life savings by fraudster, court hears

PUBLISHED: 16:59 30 July 2018 | UPDATED: 19:40 30 July 2018

Norwich Crown Court. Picture Adrian Judd.

Norwich Crown Court. Picture Adrian Judd.

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A former police officer told how his retirement dreams lay in tatters after being duped out of £30,000 of his life savings by a fraudster who wormed his way into his family.

David Verlander, 76, of Catfield, near Great Yarmouth, said he agreed to lend cash to “smooth talking” Andrew James, 41, after he was tricked into thinking it was for building work on a property in Lowestoft, which he shared with a relative of Mr Verlander’s at the time.

He promised Mr Verlander he would repay the cash when he sold the property and also claimed to be owed a lump sum from an insurance policy payout.

But they turned out to be false promises as James, also known as Bottomley, did not even own the property, which was rented, and cash from the policy never materialised leaving Mr Verlander robbed of his retirement dreams.

He had planned a luxury cruise with his wife and also was in the process of buying a static caravan, but had to cancel his holiday losing a £3,000 deposit and sell the caravan at a £6,000 loss.

James, of Market Close, Tunstead, appeared for sentencing at Norwich Crown Court after admitting fraud and was jailed for three years.

As well as the fraud involving Mr Verlander, he also admitted cheating his former landlord of £3,338 paid for building work, which was never completed.

Judge Shaw said he had duped Mr Verlander into thinking he could repay the cash: “You always gave him assurances and told him a number of lies. The £30,000 really represents his life savings.”

Judge Shaw added: “There is no real evidence of remorse.”

Although James made an offer to pay £200 a month to Mr Verlander, Judge Shaw said it would take him 12 and half years to repay the sum and said Mr Verlander could still pursue a civil case to claw cash back.

Mark Roochove, for James, said he wanted to repay the cash and said: “He is endeavouring to get his life back on track.”

After the case Mr Verlander said the case had caused him a lot of stress and hassle and hoped he could now move on with his life.

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