Conman jailed for trying to buy Norwich hotel and club

A 51-year-old man who attempted to buy a nightclub and a hotel in Norwich for £1.4m with money he did not have has been jailed for 21 months.

David Roberts, from Croydon, had claimed he had £4.8m in a trust fund shared with his sister.

He conned professional people including Antonio Degouveia, owner of Mojos and the Belmonte Hotel in Norwich, into providing services he had no money for.

At Norwich Crown Court Judge Alasdair Darroch described him as "a conman".

'Smooth talking'

He persuaded surveyors and other professional people to carry out work worth £14,000 but never paid them, the court was told.

William Carter, prosecuting, said his activities were fraudulent from the beginning and told the court he had four previous convictions.

He was found guilty of six counts of fraud.

Shaun Wallace, defending, said Roberts was now a self-employed gas and electrical engineer earning more than £70,000 and that he intended to repay the money.

Judge Darroch said: "It is extremely difficult for anyone to believe anything you say.

"You are a smooth talking conman and on this occasion a substantial amount of money was involved."

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