A FRAUDSTER who scammed a vulnerable pensioner out of £5,000 has been banned from contacting him for five years.

Douglas Gribbin fleeced the man over a number of months by pretending to be using a solicitor to resolve his legal issue over a holiday timeshare scheme.

But instead he was regularly pocketing £150 at a time without doing anything to help the man after befriending him while carrying out legitimate building working at his New Marske home.

Teesside Crown Court heard how Gribbin was already serving a lengthy custodial sentence for similar offending when he was jailed for another 12 months.

Toby Hedworth, prosecuting, said Gribbin had a long track record of similar offending where he targeted old and vulnerable people before raiding their bank accounts.

Speaking of the defendant’s latest scam, he said the exact figure that he scammed out of the pensioner would never be known but there was numerous withdrawals of money over a year-long period.

Mr Hedworth added: “It was deliberate targeting of a vulnerable man and he received nothing for the money which he paid out to this defendant.”

Gribbin, who appeared in court via videolink from HMP Northumberland, pleaded guilty to one count of fraud between February 2017 and January 2018.

Nigel Soppitt, mitigating, said: “He has a great deal of remorse for the way that he has behaved over the last few years.”

In a victim impact statement, the pensioner said: "He came across as a very friendly person but he took advantage of me."

The court heard how the 44-year-old, formerly of Moorcock Close, Bankfields, Middlesbrough, admitted two charges of fraud, one of theft, two of possessing criminal property and three of unfair trading in 2018.

He was jailed for more than five and a half years after targeting a number of people, including one vulnerable pensioner who was left thousands of pounds out of pocket when Grubbin stole her jewellery and bank card.

He also took her and her late husband’s wedding rings and pawned them in December last year, having befriended her and become a “permanent fixture in her life”.

Another of his victims was left thousands of pounds out of pocket after he carried out some dodgy building work on her property.

The woman, who suffered from motor neuron disease, never had the work on her drive completed.

Judge Stephen Ashurst jailed Gribbin for a further six months meaning he will not be entitled to a release date any earlier than June next year.

He said: "I would love to be in a position to order you to pay compensation to this victim but I realise that is impossible given the fact you are in custody."

The judge also issued a five-year restraining order to keep Gribbin away from the pensioner and his home.