|Target: £1.7m Islington House|
An imposter who posed as a homeowner to sell the vulnerable pensioner’s £1.7m Islington house behind his back is starting a twenty-one month prison sentence.
Ian Anderson, 57, impersonated 65 year-old local eccentric Charles Norrie, to fool solicitors, surveyors and prospective buyers of the desirable townhouse in the Canonbury Conservation Area.
Retired computer programmer Mr. Norrie is believed to be in care and Northern Irishman Anderson, of Gateshead Road, Borehamwood was arrested while showcasing the vacant property.
He pleaded guilty to two counts of fraud by false representation, namely impersonating the homeowner, between November 18 and December 22, last year and on February 17, this year.
He also admitted possessing an identity document, with intent, namely a counterfeit passport in the name of Mr. Norrie on February 17, the day of his arrest.
“It takes a lot of nerve,” announced Judge Peter Clarke QC.
A concerned neighbour tipped-off Mr. Norrie’s ex-wife about groups of people visiting the house and a silent alarm was fitted, leading police to Anderson when he was there hosting prospective buyers.
|Victim: Charles Norrie|
Anderson claims he was merely the frontman and was only going to receive a few hundred pounds after answering an online Craigslist ad offering “no questions asked” work to a suitable white, middle-aged gent.
He spun a tale to buyers of wanting a quick sale of between £1.0-£1.2m because he and his wife were divorcing.
If a sale was completed the funds would have gone to the fraudsters.
“This defendant impersonated Mr. Norrie to sell that property,” prosecutor Mr. Mark Fenton Kimsey told Blackfriars Crown Court.
“Mr. Norrie somehow lost his keys and his identity was obtained for the defendant to meet solicitors, surveyors and to sell the property.
“Mr. Anderson’s was a significant, but not a leading role. He was the frontman who impersonated the victim.”
Mr. Stephen Walters, defending, said: “He was short of money at the time and was given the passport and sent to solicitors and surveyors.
“He was given a phone and met a young black male outside tube stations and a second sharply dressed black male and was paid a few hundred pounds for each of his actions.
“He was told the occupant was dead and the money from the house would go to the state.
“He’s very frightened indeed of receiving a prison sentence for the first time at his age and had a blackout the last time he was at court.”
Last week a neighbour described Mr. Norrie as “eccentric”, suggesting he was not able to take care of himself any longer.
On hearing a fraudster had been jailed for trying to sell the pensioner’s house they replied: “Good.”