A conman who callously swindled thousands of pounds out of vulnerable pensioners in order to pay for his SKY TV has been jailed for three years.
Scheming businessman Basharat Bashir, 33, admitted stealing £19,000 from his frail and elderly victims in order to fund his satellite television viewing.
Birmingham Crown Court heard Bashir ripped off almost a dozen OAPs who paid him for mobility items such as stair lifts which never arrived.
Instead, the fraudster pocketed the cash and splashed out on his TV needs as well as buying mobile phones and renting luxury cars.
On Friday he admitted 19 charges, including 17 fraud offences and also pleaded guilty to fraudulent trading and money laundering.
He was jailed for three years and banned from holding a company directorship for seven years.
Sentencing Judge William Davis QC said: “You have defrauded a significant number of very vulnerable and very elderly people.
“It was money they simply couldn’t afford to lose – money doubtless saved over long, working hours, hoping to use it to make things easier for them in their declining years.”
The case was brought against Bashir following an investigation by Birmingham City Council’s Trading Standards team.
They found it total 11 pensioners were scammed by Bashir through his company, Mobility World (UK) Ltd, over a year long period from December 2009.
Defending Theresa Hunt said Bashir was full of remorse for his actions and wanted to repay his victims – despite having just #20 in the bank.
She said: “He became a dishonest businessman when cash-flow became so acutely disastrous.
“He wishes to repay every penny back to his victims.
“He feels extremely remorseful.”
After the hearing he was branded a “scumbag” by a relative of one of his victims.
Joseph Gripton, 87, from Tipton, West Mids., who died two years before seeing Bashir sentenced, lost almost £10,000 to the fraudster.
His niece, Jackie Jones, fumed: “My uncle was a proper gentleman who trusted everybody.
“He was so honest and thought everybody was too – but they’re not.
“There are some scumbags about.”
Shockingly, on once occasion Bashir, from Sheldon, West Mids., even drove the retired electrical engineer to a cashpoint so he could withdraw money for a mattress – which never arrived.
After the case Lord Toby Harris, chairman of the National Trading Standards Board, said: “Criminals who deceive consumers by tricking them into paying for products or services they have no intention of delivering cause enormous harm to those on low incomes.
“In the worst cases, they may destroy the lives of individuals and families.
“Trading standards are working hard to tackle these despicable criminals.”