Builder could face jail for theft

A FELIXSTOWE builder who used cheques stolen from a partially sighted pensioner to pay his debts has been warned that he could be jailed when he is sentenced next month.

A FELIXSTOWE builder who used cheques stolen from a partially sighted pensioner to pay his debts has been warned that he could be jailed when he is sentenced next month.

David Merry, was found guilty by a jury at Ipswich Crown Court of five offences of theft involving cheques to the value of £1,600 drawn on the account of retired Harry Ablett who has since died.

Merry, 48 of Beach Station Road, Felixstowe, had denied the offences.

Adjourning sentence for a pre-sentence report till the end of November recorder Mr John Brooke-Smith said the offences he had committed almost always resulted in a term of imprisonment.


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During a two-day trial the court heard that Merry got to know Mr Ablett when he was employed to put up a conservatory at the pensioner's home.

In the autumn of last year Mr Ablett's daughter, who helped him with his paperwork, noticed money was missing from his bank account.

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Inquiries revealed that five cheques had been drawn on Mr Ablett's bank account, which he claimed he hadn't authorised. Four of the cheques had been made out to Merry's landlady and the fifth had been used to pay the final instalment on a van he had purchased.

Giving evidence Merry claimed that a friendship had developed between him and Mr Ablett after he did some work for him.

He said he had asked Mr Ablett if he could borrow some money and Mr Ablett had told him it would not be a problem but not to mention it to his daughter.

Merry said he had been expecting to do some building work at a local pub and told Mr Ablett that if he lent him £1,500 to pay his debts he would pay him back £2,000 when he got paid.

However, Merry admitted he hadn't repaid any of the money because the work at the pub hadn't materialised.

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