Compensation for victims of 'predatory' Rugby conman - The Rugby Observer

Compensation for victims of 'predatory' Rugby conman

TWO victims of a predatory Rugby conman who carried out a series of frauds are finally going to receive some compensation for their losses.

Martyn Hart, who had no fewer than 58 convictions for dishonesty, had been jailed in December last year for two years and ten months for a number of offences of theft and fraud.

Now, after an investigation into his finances, a judge at Coventry Crown Court has ordered 47-year-old Hart, of Webb Ellis Court, Hillmorton, to pay compensation to two of his victims.

During the original hearing, prosecutor Stefan Kolodynski described Hart as ‘a career criminal and a confidence trickster,’ and Judge Stephen Eyre QC called him a ‘predatory conman.’

A woman Hart had known for many years had fallen into arrears with Daventry District Council, owing around £6,000 in rent and council tax, and bailiffs had become involved.

Hart offered to pay off the arrears if she paid him back later. The grateful woman began making regular payments to him of £140 a week – but she was later contacted by the council who had been paid just £10 by Hart.

She reported the theft to the police, but when he was questioned Hart brazenly claimed he had paid off her debt, even though it could be proved he had not.

Hart also got a brand new Ford Focus Zetec through Motability Operations on a three-year hire agreement, but arranged to return it. Instead he sold it for £5,700.

Hart also began using a café on the A45 near Dunchurch, where the woman who ran it knew him as Mark.

Convincing her he owned a mobile phone shop in Daventry, he offered to sell her an i-Phone 6 for £200 in cash plus her daughter’s i-Phone 5 in part-exchange. Hart conned £120 from her.

He was also a regular visitor to a Rugby convenience store in Featherbed Lane, where he again called himself Mark.

Seeing the owner’s Vauxhall Astra parked outside, Hart claimed he had an identical model which he was about to scrap, and offered to do some repairs to the shopkeeper’s car using parts from his before getting rid of it.

The trusting shopkeeper agreed. In total he gave Hart £275 to carry out the work, but Hart pocketed the cash and sold the car for £200 for scrap.

Following a lengthy investigation into Hart’s finances in the months since he was sentenced, prosecutor Victoria Hill said it had been decided not to ask for a hearing under the Proceeds of Crime Act, but for Hart to pay £720 in compensation.

So Judge Andrew Lockhart QC ordered Hart to pay £120 to the woman who ran the Dunchurch café, and £600 to the Rugby shopkeeper within 28 days of his release from prison, which is expected to be towards the end of next month.

In addition, Hart was ordered to pay a surcharge of £120 within 12 months.

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