A FATHER and son who lived the high life after conning elderly and vulnerable people across South Yorkshire and beyond out of hundreds of pounds for mobility aids they never received have been jailed for 12 months.
Shane and Laurence Johnson set up a firm called Nottingham Mobility in 2008 and targeted vulnerable residents with cold-calling tactics.
Two elderly people in Sheffield and two in Barnsley fell victim to the scam, handing over hundreds of pounds for mobility scooters and stair lifts that were never delivered. The Johnsons used the proceeds to buy Porsche and Maserati sports cars and pay themselves and their family huge wage packets.
Among the victims was May Bell, aged 86, who was stranded downstairs at her home in Ferrars Road, Tinsley, for more than five weeks after Nottingham Mobility failed to deliver a stair lift for which she had handed over £1,795.
She suffers from arthritis and hip and joint problems, and was left stuck after an electrician disconnected her old stair lift.
Jailing the two men at Nottingham Crown Court, for 12 offences they each admitted, Judge James Jamson said: “Neither of you are fit and proper people to be involved in a business serving the vulnerable.”
Paul Gretton, team manager at Scambusters East Midlands, which led the investigation, said: “We very much welcome the judge’s sentence, which sends out a strong message to anyone even thinking of preying on vulnerable, elderly people by mis-selling them disability aids. We will now be starting Proceeds of Crime proceedings to try and get back what we can for those like Mrs Bell who have already been targeted.”
Mrs Bell’s son Neville has since helped her bring civil court proceedings against Nottingham Mobility and so far they have been repaid £1,600.