Dorset

Poole fraudster Venancio Jardim jailed

Venancio Jardim Image copyright Dorset Police
Image caption Venancio Jardim, 56, gained the trust of the woman in her 80s and tried to make her transfer savings and sell properties

A man who befriended an elderly woman and stole £14,000 from her has been jailed for three years.

Venancio Jardim, 56, from The Avenue, Poole, gained the trust of the woman in her 80s, isolated her from her friends and tried to make her transfer savings and sell properties worth £850,000.

He was found guilty at an earlier trial at Southampton Crown Court of fraud by abuse of position and theft.

Dorset Police described Jardim as a "devious offender".

Jardim, also known as Mike Garden, first befriended his victim, who was suffering from deteriorating mental health, in August 2016.

Sold victim's properties

Dorset Police said he was able to gain her trust and isolated her from friends and family as well as controlling her daily routines, including changing her GP surgery of 30 years.

Following an assessment in March 2017 that ruled the elderly woman, from Poole, lacked the capacity to manage her own financial affairs, Jardim used her bank card to make cash withdrawals and persuaded her to write cheques to him worth £14,000.

He left the woman at her overdraft limit before demanding she transfer £80,000 from her savings to an account accessible to him.

Jardim also instigated the sale of both of his victim's properties, for a total value of £850,000.

Det Sgt Chris Griffin, of Dorset Police said: "He was prepared to take all he could from her, leaving the victim's bank account at the overdraft limit before then attempting to target her savings and funds from the sale of her properties.

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