A man has this week been jailed for four and a half years after admitting conning a vulnerable man out of more than £40,000 as well as a burglary and theft in Burnham-On-Sea.

John McCann, 42, of Naaz Lane in Gloucester, pictured, was described as “a cowardly, conniving conman” by Judge Cullum when sentencing him at Bristol Crown Court on Monday (20th February).

McCann admitted four counts of fraud committed between 2013 and 2014.

He had befriended a vulnerable 63-year-old man after offering to carry out work at his Bristol home and went on to strip him of his assets. He also admitted the theft of a wallet from the house.

McCann also admitted breaking into the Burnham-On-Sea home of a couple in their seventies to steal cash and high value jewellery, including several diamond rings, a sapphire engagement ring, and a wedding ring in April 2016, as well as offences of being unlawfully at large in 2015 and driving with no insurance in 2016.

He was arrested after being stopped by officers on the M4 at junction 22, Avonmouth, on Thursday 15 December 2016.

DC 3222 Alastair Binnie said: “John McCann targeted a vulnerable elderly man, winning his trust and persuading him that he was his friend before fleecing him. Not satisfied with this he was also responsible for burgling the home of a couple in their seventies, smashing the patio door and stealing jewellery of great sentimental value.”

T/DS John Underhill, who leads the investigative strand of the specialist team dedicated to investigating this type of burglary, added: “The efforts of our specialist team have been significant in bringing this man to justice. These detectives are so passionate in their work to detect these types of offences and protect the most vulnerable members of our community by bringing offenders to justice.”

Burnham-On-Sea Police have this week given advice to local people who have vulnerable elderly relatives, friends or neighbours.

“Check out information about common scams and how to report them on the Action Fraud website and let them know what to look out for; Help them to get three quotes from reputable trades people if they need to have work done on their home or garden; If you’re worried that a vulnerable person is paying over the odds for maintenance work, work that’s unnecessary or is carried out to a poor standard, report it to Trading Standards through Citizens’ Advice on 03453 04 05 06; Help them get to the bank – or with online banking – to encourage them not to keep cash at home.”