Frederick Buck
Frederick Buck

A man from Newark who talked a vulnerable woman into withdrawing thousands of pounds to pay for work he did not do has been jailed.

Derby Crown Court heard how Frederick Buck knocked on the victim’s door asking if she wanted gardening work done.

After realising she could be talked into parting with more money, he offered to do other manual work.

Buck, 22, of Castle View, Tolney Lane, persuaded her to return to the same Derbyshire bank three times on the same day, until she had handed over almost £4,500.

He left with the money, without carrying out any of the promised work.

Sentencing Buck to nine months in prison, Recorder Peter Ievins said: “When you knocked on the victim’s door you did not know she was learning disabled but that very soon became obvious to you.

“You went to do some gardening work for £250 and that soon became £450, then £1,000, then another £1,000, then another £2,000.

“You knew you were doing wrong because you asked her, the victim, each time she withdrew money if the cashier had asked her any questions.

“This was a deliberate attempt to cheat a vulnerable person and I detect no remorse because if you had you would have paid this lady back.

“She has lost much more than money. She has lost her ability to trust others and, worse of all, she blames herself.”

The prosecutor, Miss Sarah Slater, said the offence took place in Draycott on January 3.

She said the victim was a single mother with learning difficulties.

'She felt under pressure'

Miss Slater said: “She heard a knock at the door and answered it to the defendant who asked if she wanted her conifers and trees cut back and said this would cost £250.

“She agreed and went to the cashpoint to withdraw the money and handed it to the defendant.

“He then said they needed more money to do some extra work and this would be £450 and she returned to the ATM to take more money out.

“The victim said the defendant was pushy and when she told him she was up to her (cashpoint withdrawal) limit he drove her to the Lloyds Bank in Long Eaton.”

Miss Slater said Buck talked the woman into first withdrawing £1,000 and then returning twice more.

Miss Slater said: “She said she felt under pressure from the defendant. He was persuasive, and in total, £4,450 was handed over by the defendant.”

Buck was arrested a month later after the white van he used was traced. In interview he answered “no comment” to the questions asked.

In a victim impact statement, the woman said: “I feel panicky all the time in case he comes back to my address.

“I am wary of visitors and worry about keeping cash in the house. My confidence was already low and now it is worse.

“I am a vulnerable lone parent with a school-age child and I hate myself for not standing up to him.”

Buck pleaded guilty to one count of fraud.

The court was told how he had previous convictions for theft and threatening behaviour.

Mr Christopher Jeyes, defending Buck, said his client married in October 2016 and was “feeling the pressure to provide as the man of the house.”

“Much to everyone’s regret temptation took the better of him,” Mr Jeyes said.

“He kept on trying it on with the complainant. She essentially acquiesced and gave him what he sought.

“He expresses remorse.”