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Carlisle Man Jailed For Pretending To Be Tree Surgeon

08 June 2009 Last Updated on 15 July 2009 Adam Owen

Jack Sidders

A man has been sentenced to three years in prison for pretending to be a tree surgeon.

Michael McDonough was found guilty of false representation to make gain by Durham Crown Court after defrauding an 82-year-old woman in Wolsingham on 3 April.

The woman had booked a tree surgery firm to carry out work in her garden.  Two men arrived on her doorstep purporting to be from the firm and she let them in to carry out the work.  When she rang the company to check, after having paid McDonough, they said the men were not theirs.  She confronted the pair and they fled, only to be arrested five days later when a police officer spotted a vehicle and men matching their description.

McDonough, who is from Carlisle, was charged with false representation to make gain and the other man was released without charge.  McDonough also received a 12-month driving ban for motoring offences.

Crook CID detective sergeant Neil Edgar said:  "I would recommend that residents only commission work with reputable companies and by pre-arranged appointment. When workers do attend your home, make sure you check their identity and if you are unsure check with the company involved. Quite often these types of criminals prey on the elderly and vulnerable."