A SYDNEY man who ripped off a local elderly couple after posing as a tradesman was sentenced to at least a year in jail last week.
Darren Henry Warrilow, from a Silverwater address, was convicted in the Inverell Local Court last week of dishonestly obtaining financial advantage by deception.
Magistrate Michael Holmes sentenced Warrilow to 18 months imprisonment to commence from February 18 and set a non-parole period of 12 months. He also ordered him to pay $200 in compensation.
On July 13, 2012 Warrilow gave a quote to an elderly couple in Evans Street to paint their house and the couple paid him $200 as a deposit on the job.
Warrilow said he would be back to start the job the following day, but he and the money promptly went missing and the couple realised they had been scammed.
The couple went to the police.
Inspector Rowan O’Brien from Inverell Police has warned residents to remain alert.
“Continue to be vigilant, especially elderly residents who are pretty well on the board in regards to some of the scams that are out there and if they do have any concerns not to be handing over cash.
“My advice is to deal with local trades people.”
Inspector O’Brien said the couple were able to identify Warrilow.
“We were successful in identifying this bloke by using an identification board of photos,” Inspector O’Brien said.
“When police are investigating a matter where the suspect is unknown we do have a certain technique available to us where we can utilise a photo-board … we have photographs of suspects of a similar appearance and it’s used in an attempt to identify offenders.
“It’s very similar to an identification parade.
“That was some good police work to come up with this board of suspects for the victims and a warrant was taken out for this male and he was arrested.
“As it turned out he had been previously involved in the same sort of activities; he wasn’t from this area, he was from Sydney and had been travelling around regional NSW.
“Inverell was the only location where he was actually prosecuted.”
During August last year Warrilow was part of a family group of seven conmen being tracked by the Department of Fair Trading, which was contacted in 2011 about a resident who had been approached as early as April, that year at his house by three men, who told him he needed essential repair work on his home.
The homeowner was an 80-year-old gentleman who lived alone.
Between the April 18, 2011 and August 23, 2011, the resident was picked up from his home at Berala and driven to various branches of the Commonwealth Bank and, at the request of those accompanying him, withdrew a total of approximately $148,300 in cash in 16 separate transactions for payment for work on his home.