A CONMAN who “grossly overcharged” a 64-year-old woman for odd jobs about her house has been told he must pay her back.

Scott Wilcock told the lone householder that various work needed to be carried out at her home in Seaham, including replacing a slate.

He went back and performed some shabby pointing, claimed to have washed the windows, for which he charged £85, and left her with an overall bill of £800, which she duly paid following his aggressive demands.

Wilcock, 39, of Watling Avenue, Seaham, admitted a charge of fraud by false representation when he appeared at Durham Crown Court, on January 3.

The court heard the charge goes back to work carried out in August and September in 2017, for which he gave ‘no reply’ interviews in October that year and April, last year, before being later picked out by the householder following an identification procedure.

He has since served an eight-month prison sentence and received a suspended sentence for similar offending, both imposed last year.

Jane Waugh, for Wilcock, said it appears the courts were unaware he had other similar matters pending, which is why they have been dealt with separately.

But she said after he received the suspended sentence, at Newcastle Crown Court, in August, he was placed on a home curfew and has since worked well with the Probation Service, “turning his life around,” remaining offence-free and weaning himself off drugs.

Judge Christopher Prince agreed to defer sentence to see if Wilcock maintains that positive progress.

But, he made him subject of a restraining order to keep away from the victim’s home and ordered him to put £20 aside each month to pay her as compensation, in the meantime.

On Watling’s return for the deferred sentence hearing, the court heard he has fulfilled the pledge to save £120 towards compensation and has almost completed a drug rehabilitation course.

Judge Prince told him: “That being the case, I’ll impose a two-year conditional discharge and he won’t have to answer to the court any further in this matter.

“But, he can maintain those £20 payments per month and if he finds work, those payments should increase.

“Those who ‘steal’ money by such trickery should pay every penny back.”