A gang of ‘despicable’ fraudsters who conned three pensioners out of thousands of pounds have been jailed.
Gang member Storm McGowan, 26, of Walter Street, Oswaldtwistle was sentenced at Preston Crown Court to seven years in prison for robbery.
Five of the other seven gang members were given prison sentences, while one was convicted and is awaiting sentence to be sentenced and another died before sentencing.
Members of the gang targeted an 83-year-old man at his home in Rawtenstall between June 17 and 19 in 2015, knocking at his door and informing him his drains were blocked.
They continued to visit the pensioner and asked for large amounts of money. They took him to his bank where he withdrew the money and handed it to the offenders.
Between the same dates a woman aged was targeted at her home in Blackburn by members of the gang who opened up her drain cover and persuaded her she needed work completing and obtained a deposit from her.
They returned a few days later for more money but were disturbed.
On November 2, 2014 an 85-year-old man was targeted at his home address in Blackburn by members of the gang who forced their way into the house, pushing past the him and demanding he hand over cash.
The victim was physically held from behind while a search took place of his home.
The offenders then left the address with a large amount of money.
In the day leading up to this offence the victim had paid for roofing repairs and had been visited by a man claiming to be from the council, who had tried to enter his home.
Detective Sgt Melissa Kelly, of Blackburn CID, said: “I welcome the sentencing and hope this brings some closure to the victims, who have conducted themselves admirably throughout.
"The victims in these cases has been subjected to despicable crimes at the hands of these men, who were intent on ripping them off for their own gains.
"Fortunately the robbery victim did not sustain any physical injuries but these crimes have had a significant effect on the wellbeing and ability to trust of all the victims.
“May I take this opportunity to remind the public not to agree to any work offered by cold callers.
"If work requires completing it is highly recommended to obtain a number of quotes from reputable businesses using the safe trader scheme or similar.”
At Preston Crown Court on Wednesday, December 21, Storm McGowan, 26, of Walter Street in Oswaldtwistle was sentenced to seven years imprisonment for robbery.
Nathan Ashworth, 25, of Railway Street in Nelson, was sentenced to six years, four months for robbery and fraud.
His brother Jake Ashworth, 23, of Railway Street in Nelson, was sentenced to six years, ten months for fraud and robbery.
Eamon Mel Fagan, 41 of Brentwood Road in Nelson, was sentenced to ten months for fraud.
Glen Hardingham, 44, of Calder Street in Colne was sentenced to nine months for fraud. His brother Mark Hardingham was also convicted of fraud but died before sentencing.
Matthew Jones 26, of Sutherland Street in Colne, was sentenced to eight months for fraud.
Guljamal Din, 33, of Albert Street, Nelson was convicted of fraud and will be sentenced at a later date.