A fraudster tricked a woman into handing over more than £1,000 to rent an innocent couple’s home, Lincoln Crown Court was told.
Jarrad Marsh advertised the house in Green Street, Great Gonerby, on the website Gumtree and showed round a prospective tenant.
Mark Knowles, prosecuting, said the woman agreed a deal to pay £425 a month rent plus a deposit of £1,060.
He said: “They agreed she should pay the first months rent and the deposit in cash with future payments being paid directly into a Santander account. She agreed to meet the defendant back at the house an hour later.”
Marsh did not turn up but rang the woman and asked to meet at the Asda car park where she handed him the cash in exchange for the keys. She was also given the bank details for the Santander account.
The woman went back to the property and began cleaning only to be interrupted in the early evening when a couple arrived and demanded to know what she was doing in their home.
Police were called and further enquiries revealed that the genuine occupant had been in hospital and had allowed Marsh to stay at her address. It transpired that she was a tenant herself and rented her home from a housing association.
Marsh, 44, of no fixed address, admitted fraud in July. He also admitted offences of theft, assault and failing to surrender to bail. He was jailed for 14 months.
Judge John Pini QC told him: “You are a conman. You have an extremely bad record.”
Chris Milligan, defending, said “These offences were all committed at a time when he did not have any stable accommodation.
“He wants to try and make some progress in custody. He is sorry for these matters.”
Mr Milligan said that Marsh had a “terrible background” as a youngster and later spent a short time in the Army before being diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder.