An “utterly contemptible” con artist who defrauded a vulnerable Aldershot woman out of hundreds of thousands of pounds has been jailed for six years.

Stephen Patrick Floyd removed around £230,000 from the pensioner’s account and lost more than £50,000 of it gambling, Hampshire Constabulary said.

The 60-year-old was jailed after defrauding two vulnerable elderly women over the last decade.

Police said Floyd met his victims, a woman who is now aged 85 from Aldershot and a woman now aged 80 from Park Gate in Fareham, when he was self-employed and delivered food to them.

The force added that in both cases, when the victim’s husbands became ill and died, Floyd became heavily involved with their care, obtained power of attorney, and had them change their wills so he was the main beneficiary.

He then used their money for other purposes than their own care, including gambling.

Floyd was subsequently charged with two counts of fraud by abuse of position.

'Incredible and unbelievable'

On Wednesday (March 29) at Southampton Crown Court, Floyd was sentenced to a total of six years in prison.

Police said that during the sentencing hearing, the judge noted that Floyd was well aware of the potential for exploiting one of his victims, and that his claim that he stuffed tens of thousands of pounds into charity tins was “incredible and unbelievable”.

Investigating officer, PC Vicky Cobley, said: “This has been a particularly complex investigation that has including reviewing more than ten years’ worth of financial records to establish the true extent of Floyd’s fraudulent behaviour.

'Utterly contemptible'

“Floyd’s actions have been particularly distressing for both his victims and their families, due to their age and vulnerability.

“In both cases Floyd took advantage of women who had recently been bereaved, which is utterly contemptible.

“Floyd groomed his victim from Park Gate into trusting him and went on to take out £32,000 of loans and a £20,000 mortgage in her name.

“He then proceeded to remove money from her bank account and continued to siphon off money over the next decade leaving her continuously overdrawn by up to £2,000.

“Our investigation has shown that tens of thousands of pounds were withdrawn by Floyd over that period of time for his own interest.”

PC Cobley said Floyd, of Orpen Road in Southampton, gained power of attorney for his Aldershot victim, placed her into nursing care and sold her home.

“Approximately £230,000 was removed from her account, which was not spent in her best interest,” she added.

“Floyd lost over £50,000 of this money through gambling at bookmakers.

“The sentence sends a clear message that this type of behaviour will be investigated thoroughly and that the courts have a very dim view of someone taking advantage of some of the most vulnerable people in our local communities.

“The prosecutor, Dawn Hyland, presented a very strong case, which was the culmination of a very complex investigation.

“Following this result we will continue to work to recover what money we can for Floyd’s victims through the Proceeds of Crime Act and I would urge anyone who has concerns relating to elderly friends or relatives and possible abuse of their finances to contact us by calling 101.”