A kind-hearted landlord has been left destitute and suicidal after being tricked out of £212,000 by one of his tenants.
Cruel conman Derek Conway (main pic, inset) preyed on Eugene Schofield’s good nature by pretending he was terminally ill but that he had a £100,000 windfall waiting to be paid, Lancashire Live reports.
Schofield owned five buy-to-let properties in Blackpool which he rented out to people who were struggling. Preston Crown Court heard that he did not take deposits or check references as he “took people as he found them”.
Conway had told his landlord that his medical treatment would cost £103,000 and asked Schofield to lend him the difference.
Gambled He later claimed he had paid the money to a clinic, but the doctor had disappeared with his payment and the clinic would no longer treat him. However, Conway had gambled the money away.
Between 2013 and 2019, Conway left his landlord unable to afford to feed himself or pay his bills and owing £20,000 to HMRC. He sold all his properties and re-mortgaged his own home to help his tenant out, losing £1,000 a week rental income.
In a victim impact statement, the landlord told the court: “I never took a bond or references as my opinion was that if people are renting, they need some kind of financial assistance.
“If my tenants were ever struggling with rent, I would always try to help out. I would give them a loan for as long as they needed it.”
Schofield said he became so depressed he attempted to take his own life and was no longer sleeping or able to support himself.
Conway, of no fixed address, was jailed for six years and nine months in a case the judge labelled, “A long term, cruel deception of a vulnerable man.”
Pics: Getty and Lancashire Police
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