Swindler who ripped off victim back behind bars

Wednesday 6th July 2022 12:09 pm
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(Photo by Paul Chard / Unsplash )

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A swindler who went on the run to Thailand for ten years after ripping off a customer in Okehampton is now back behind bars.

Ashley Fordham defrauded five victims in Devon and Cornwall out of almost £20,000 by taking deposits for heat pumps that he failed to supply and did not pay the monies back.

The 61-year-old undischarged bankrupt, from Trunch, Norfolk, who is currently in Norfolk Jail, ripped off victims in 2011 while working for a company that supplied renewable energy.

Truro Crown Court heard he told customers that he could offer them a better deal if he supplied the heat pumps rather than going through his employers.

But he made a host of excuses and broken promises for the heat pumps not arriving and prosecutor Paul Grumbar said the deposits he was given went into Fordham’s bank account and were used for living expenses.

Mr Grumbar said: ‘It was fraud from the outset. In interview he denied being dishonest.’

He said Fordham absconded and lived in Thailand for ten years before returning to the UK where he was arrested and remanded in custody.

Miss Sophie Coles, defending, said: ‘He let people down and wants to make it right.’

Recorder Christopher Quinlan QC said Fordham had swindled five customers who are waiting to be repaid.

He adjourned sentence but said even if he does repay them a total of £18,300, he may still face an immediate jail sentence.

The victims of the frauds lived in Okehampton, Torpoint, Launceston and Combe Martin.

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