'Dismal and despicable' bogus tax collector conned Edinburgh pensioner out of his cash
A callous fraudster who conned a vulnerable pensioner out of £1800 by pretending to be a tax collector has avoided a jail sentence.
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Mohammed Baig tricked the 86-year-old man into handing over the cash after calling his Edinburgh home and saying he owed outstanding taxes.
Baig, 23, managed to convince the elderly victim to withdraw the cash from his bank account and hand it over when the conman attended at his home.
But the heartless swindler was snared after concerned bank staff alerted the police to the OAP withdrawing such a large sum unexpectedly in September 2019.
Baig, from Birmingham, appeared at Edinburgh Sheriff Court for sentencing after previously pleading guilty to conning the pensioner by pretending to be engaged in the lawful collection of taxes.
Solicitor Murray Robertson said his client had carried out an “awful and dismal” offence but he had since shown “genuine remorse” and his family had been left “shocked at his behaviour”.
Sheriff Kenneth Campbell told Baig the offence was “dismal and despicable” but stopped short of imposing a custodial sentence.
The conman was placed on an 18 month supervision order and told to carry out 225 hours of unpaid work in the community.
He will also have to attend for drug treatment sessions for the next 18 months.
Co-accused Abdul Sajjad, 23, had admitted dragging two police constables alongside his car and to striking a third officer on the leg with his vehicle while attempting to evade arrest.
Sheriff Campbell also placed Sajjad on an 18 month supervision order and he will have to complete 225 hours of unpaid work.
Sajjad was also handed a ten year driving ban.
Previously the court was told Baig had telephoned the OAP claiming he owed £1800 in unpaid taxes and gave reasons why the cash was outstanding.
Baig said he would call at the victim’s home, give him a personal code and he should hand over the funds in a white envelope.
The lowlife conman then attended at the “panicked and concerned” pensioner’s home in the Mountcastle area of the capital to collect the cash on September 25, 2019.
The money was withdrawn but staff at Clydesdale Bank noticed the withdrawal and called police due to their customer’s “age and vulnerability”.
The following day co-accused Sajjad, also from Birmingham, was spotted by police driving a Ford Galaxy at the city’s Northfield.
He failed to comply with an order to stop and after two officers grabbed hold of the vehicle’s door handles he drove off pulling them along the road.
Sajjad then struck another officer on the leg with the car before he was persuaded to pull over and give himself up.
The pair had arrived at court carrying overnight bags as they expected to be jailed but following the hearing they were seen gloating outside the court room by saying “no jail, no jail”. As they left the building Sajjad turned on the press, hurling abuse and labelling one reporter a ‘b*****d’ before heading into the city centre.