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Judge commends bank staff during fraud sentencing

PUBLISHED: 17:37 06 March 2018 | UPDATED: 17:37 06 March 2018

Aaron Wiltshire. Picture: Kent Police

Aaron Wiltshire. Picture: Kent Police

Archant

Bank staff who helped to stop an elderly man from withdrawing thousands of pounds after being conned have been commended by a judge during a hearing.

During the sentencing of Aaron Wiltshire, the judge at Maidstone Crown Court said that he would like to commend staff at the Gravesend branch of NatWest for stopping the transaction and alerting Kent Trading Standards.

Wiltshire, 31, of Page Crescent in Slade Green, was jailed for four years after being found guilty by a jury on two counts of fraud by false representation.

He was given an additional four weeks for breaching a suspended sentence relating to another incident during the sentencing on February 19.

The judge heard how on Tuesday January 17 2017, a man knocked on the victim’s front door in Old Perry Street, Northfleet, claiming that he lived near the man and that there was a problem with his water that may also be affecting the victim.

Two days later on Thursday January 19, the victim received another knock at the door by a different man claiming there was a problem with the victim’s water which would require a lot of specialist equipment.

This man, later identified as Aaron Wiltshire, then stated that it would cost around £9,000 to repair.

He later told the victim he would need a £3,000 deposit and, believing him, the victim went to the Natwest bank in Gravesend to withdraw the money, however staff would not release the funds as they felt it was suspicious.

On Friday, January 20, Wiltshire visited the victim’s address and took him via a number of taxis to banks in Dartford to withdraw funds up to £1,700. Returning to his address Wiltshire then told the man that he wanted more cash.

The victim told Wiltshire he had no further money and wrote out a cheque for £19,800 which Wiltshire took before leaving.

The victim was later contacted by an officer at Kent Police, before cancelling the cheque and his cards.

Following an investigation by Kent Police, Wiltshire was identified through CCTV and was arrested and later charged with fraud.

Investigating officer PC Colin Bassett said: “Wiltshire preyed on a vulnerable man on numerous occasions, pressurising him to hand over thousands of pounds of cash without any care for the victim.

“I’d like to echo the judge’s sentiments and commend the staff at the bank for stopping the first large transaction and passing on their concerns.

“Had it not been for those staff then this case would have had a very different outcome and who knows where it would have stopped.

“If anyone thinks they have been a victim of fraud or believes someone they know may be being targeted then please do get in touch with Kent Police so officers can investigate fully.”

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