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Orpington conman jailed again as cowboy builders take elderly man's life savings and family home

PUBLISHED: 15:44 08 March 2013 | UPDATED: 15:44 08 March 2013

Billy Nelson Smith was sentenced to four and a half years in prison.

Billy Nelson Smith was sentenced to four and a half years in prison.

Archant

A bogus builder has again been jailed for ripping off the elderly, this time relieving a man of his life savings and family home.

Billy Nelson Smith, 26, formerly of Tillingbourne Green, in Orpington, was sentenced to four and a half years in prison at Maidstone Crown Court after pleading guilty to conspiracy to defraud.

Alred Ball, 38, of Buckinghamshire, Richard Smart, 25, of Middlesex, William King, 52, and Andrew Cole, 39, both of Surrey, were also convicted taking the total sentences up to a combined 19 years.

The court heard in January how Smith, Ball and Smart befriended the 63-year-old victim in mid-2010 and began draining his £100,000 life savings under the pretence of carrying out building work on his home.

They then targeted his £200,000 mortgage-free home, convincing him to sell it to an associate for half its market value. It was then re-sold within six days for £149,000.

After his money was gone, the men discarded the victim leaving him homeless. He was reported missing and in September 2011 was found by police in Surrey sleeping rough in a garden shed.

The victim now lives in charity-funded accommodation in Medway.

Smith was convicted for a similar crime in 2008 in which he and his father conned 43 elderly homeowners out of more than £880,000 by claiming to fix problems they had secretly caused to buildings. He was jailed for two and a half years.

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