‘Prison for con artist means I can sleep again’

Jean Bayman, 79, said she is relieved that con man Norman Mansell is behind bars.
Jean Bayman, 79, said she is relieved that con man Norman Mansell is behind bars.
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An elderly victim of a callous travelling criminal today said she can sleep again after he was jailed for 10 months.

Jean Bayman, 79, was one of a number of pensioners, some in their 80s, living in an area off Highfield Road, South Shore, who were conned into paying hundreds of pounds to have CCTV cameras installed in their flats by Norman Mansell.

Mansell, 46, of May Avenue, Old Whittington, Chesterfield, Derbyshire, whom trading standards officers described as a career criminal with a history of similar offences, used high pressure selling techniques, often preying on the women’s security fears, to try to sell the cheap CCTV systems for well above the odds.

The systems, worth around £40 to £50, were offered to some elderly people for as much as £700.

Mrs Bayman was charged £330 for a system to be installed.

Speaking after Mansell was sentenced to 10 months in jail at Preston Crown Court on Tuesday, she said: “I’m only sorry he didn’t get longer.

“I bought it from him because people had been knocking on my door at all hours of the morning and night, and that had been going on for quite a few years.

“I was really upset and I was worried to death. I’ve never had anything like that happen before. I can sleep now for the next 10 months.”

Mansell had pleaded guilty to “dishonestly making a representation and engaging in commercial practices which are misleading” under the Fraud Act 2006.

He was also given a Criminal Anti-social Behaviour order (CRASBO) banning him from entering Blackpool to sell goods for seven years.

Mrs Bayman added: “He gave people the impression he was doing the work on behalf of the council. I hope to God he doesn’t have the chance to do this again in Blackpool.

Incidents were ‘callous and calculated’ – council

Coun Gillian Campbell, Blackpool Council’s cabinet member for public protection, said: “It is clear from the profile of Mansell’s victims that this was a callous and calculated effort to target elderly or vulnerable people.

“He preyed on their insecurities and confidence and one victim even told our officers that Mansell took him to the bank to withdraw money.

“I commend our officers for their hard work, the support they have shown for the victims and for securing this conviction.”

Any residents concerned about cold calling can contact Blackpool Council in confidence on (01253) 478375.

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