A one-legged fraudster from Bromley has had his stay in prison increased after he admitted duping a man suffering from cancer out of nearly £10,000.
Stephen Ross, 53, of Drake Mews, Bromley, pleaded guilty to two counts of fraud at Croydon Crown Court and was sentenced to a further six months in prison, in addition to the five-year prison term he is currently serving.
Ross was previously jailed in November 2012 after pleading guilty to two counts of fraud for fleecing a couple - Valerie and David Greenslade, from Orpington - out of their life savings.
When Ross was jailed a 66-year-old man saw the media coverage and recognised Ross, realising he had been duped too.
In March 2010 Ross befriended the man and when he learned the man had prostate cancer he lied and claimed he had lost his leg due to the disease.
Ross persuaded the victim he was a wealthy industrialist with a personal fortune of many millions of pounds.
As part of this grooming process, Ross even claimed to be able to arrange for specialist treatment for the victim’s cancer with a professor at the Cromwell Hospital, who was subsequently discovered not to exist.
Fortunately this offer was not acted upon by the victim and he is currently in remission, having been treated by genuine medical practitioners.
After grooming the victim for a year Ross claimed by using his building trade contacts he would be able to procure and fit a bespoke kitchen for free as a favour.
Ross ended up taking £3,866 from the victim for a granite work surface and plumbing but no work was ever undertaken and no kitchen furniture was ever delivered.
In June 2011 Ross claimed to be able to pay off the victim’s outstanding mortgage, but said he would need £6,010, which the victim paid to him, to cover account charges.
Ross kept the deception up until the weekend before he was jailed in November 2012. In total, this victim lost £9,876 to Ross.
There is no record of Ross ever having suffered from any form of cancer. He is known to change the story of how he lost his left leg – such as in a previous fraud when he told the victims he lost his leg in the 2005 London bombings.
Detective Constable John Farthing, from Bromley police, said: "Ross is a confidence trickster and convincing storyteller who has left his victims financially out of pocket and feeling both defenceless and upset.
"Ross shamelessly used his disability to lower his victim’s defences and people put their trust in him and handed over money that they couldn’t afford to lose.
"Ross’s modus operandi varies only in the variety of lies he uses to support his own legend when stealing from vulnerable and elderly victims."