TWO conmen have been jailed for a crime spree that ended with two pensioners having to go into care homes.

Ryan Richard Lowe, 21, and Steven Richard Wood, 30, defrauded two victims in North Yorkshire of their savings as part of a four-year campaign against the elderly and vulnerable, Teesside Crown Court heard.

One of their victims, an 84-year-old widow from Thornton-le-Dale, near Pickering, was charged more than 6,000 for a botched building repair which should have cost just 30.

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Another victim, an 86-year-old widower from Haxby, near York, was charged at least 72,000 for building and gardening work which experts could find no evidence of being carried out. Both victims were suffering from dementia.

Lowe was today jailed for three years and his brother-in-law Wood, who is already in prison for similar offences, was sentenced to four and a half years.

Richard Bennett, prosecuting for North Yorkshire trading standards, told the court that between them, the pair targeted pensioners with dementia and repeatedly got them to write cheques totalling tens of thousands of pounds.

The Recorder of Middlesbrough Judge Simon Bourne-Arton QC, told them: What you did was to bleed these victims of whatever little money they had left.

Both victims are now in care homes.

Lowe, of Bickerton near Wetherby, admitted 13 fraud and money laundering offences committed against both victims.

Wood, of no fixed address, was jailed for four and a half years for six fraud and money laundering offences against the Haxby man.

For Lowe, Scott Smith said he had no previous convictions.

For Wood, Steven Crossley said he wanted to be an auto mechanic and go straight on his release from prison.