Fraudster who stole £18,000 is jailed

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A man who befriended a woman to steal £18,000 from her and her business has been jailed for nearly five years.

David Kelso, of Meresyde, Gateshead, befriended the North Tyneside woman between January 2015 and 2016, Newcastle Crown Court heard.

The 63-year-old – also known as David Watmuff – stole from her business and took fraudulent loans from her personally, helping himself to a total of £18,000.

Kelso was found guilty of the offences following a six day trial.

He has pleaded guilty to two other matters, of using a false CV to obtain well paid employment and producing fake invoices to make it appear he was performing his role well, when in fact he did not achieve any tangible sales.

Kelso was jailed for four years and ten months at court on Wednesday.

After the sentencing, DC Chris Gent, Northern CID, said: “This man deliberately set out to defraud and steal from his victims.

“He crafted a series of lies and was extremely plausible.

“He managed to deceive business owners and companies into believing his lies and handing over thousands of pounds.

“We hope this sentence serves as a warning to others who contemplate undertaking a fraud under the guise of a legitimate business that they will be caught and made to face the consequences of their actions.”