Swindon conman stole £100k from disabled victim

Swindon Advertiser: Nigel Lelliott Nigel Lelliott

GRANDFATHER Nigel Lelliott will be spending Christmas behind bars after being found guilty of stealing around £100,000 from a disabled man.

The 48-year-old was sentenced to four years in prison for five counts of fraud and theft at Taunton Crown Court yesterday, following two and a half years of him breaking the trust placed in him from his business partner.

The hearing was told the father-of-two took advantage of Oliver Dodd, who has been paralysed from the lower part of his body since he was a young child following a serious car accident.

Lelliott, of Twickenham Close, first met Mr Dodd when he was carrying out building work at his family home. He then proposed to go into the property business with the 20-year-old and asked him to buy him a £20,000 BMW and front the money for a mortgage.

Judge Euan Ambrose said he targeted Mr Dodd because he was vulnerable.

“He was a vulnerable person. He was isolated and naïve,” said Judge Ambrose. “He had a large sum of money which made him a target. That money was intended to be compensation for a serious personal injury he had and to enable him to pay for help in the future.

“When you saw him, you saw an opportunity to exploit him financially and this is what you did.”

The court was told in early 2009 that Lelliott lured Mr Dodd to invest in buying a property in Emerson Close, firstly for the intention of Lelliott to renovate the buildings and then split the profits 50/50 between himself and Mr Dodd and then when that scheme did not pan out, for Lelliott to manage the homes – bringing in rent for Mr Dodd.

A second scheme was then devised by Lelliott for Mr Dodd to front a mortgage for land in Station Road and for Lelliott to build a house to sell on.

The court was told within days of £60,000 being transferred into his account to carry out this work. Lelliott went on a spending spree paying for lavish holidays and luxury items. Lelliott spent around £5,000 laying the foundations for the projects.

“You had no intention of doing the work you said you were going to do,” said Judge Ambrose. “You did just enough to maintain the pretence.”

By this time Mr Dodd’s health had deteriorated due to him becoming very depressed and withdrawn.

None of the money collected from Lelliott for the properties being rented on behalf of Mr Dodd went to him. Instead, Lelliott pocketed all of the £3,000 earnings and the court was also told he was very aggressive to the tenants who lived there.

Lelliott had 10 previous convictions of dishonesty, 65 offences of similar matters and has been declared bankrupt twice which led to nine further offences of him receiving credit under the pretence he was not bankrupt.

Defending Lelliott, Daren Samat said: “He was struggling to cope and spent money at times when his self esteem was low.”

He went on to tell the hearing that Lelliot’s daughter died in May of cancer which has meant Lelliott cares for her children aged 10, seven and five.

“They have just lost their mother and will now have their grandfather leaving them too,” said Mr Samat. “Perhaps you could say he only has himself to blame for this but the children are perhaps going to be the ones who pay the price.”

He said Lelliott’s mother was also very ill and he was her main carer.

A proceeds of crime hearing will take place on April 29 at Bristol Crown Court.

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