Rogue window cleaner targeted elderly and vulnerable

PUBLISHED: 15:51 03 January 2019

Exeter Crown Court. Picture: Archant

Exeter Crown Court. Picture: Archant

Archant

A rogue window cleaner is facing a jail sentence after he targeted vulnerable pensioners and disabled people and demanded money for work he had never done.

Dean Hayes was found by neighbours or carers in the homes of three people who he tried to con out of money. Two were women aged 89 and 84 and who lived alone. The third suffered from multiple sclerosis.

He either broke into their Exeter homes or forced his way in when they answered the front door and falsely claimed to have cleaned their windows. He wrote himself two cheques at the home of one of the victims, who suffered from dementia.

Hayes carried out the offences during a nine month long crime spree in which he was caught shoplifting in Exeter or Exmouth repeatedly, and was found by police with £480 worth of forged £20 notes.

He kept being released under investigation and was only locked up after mugging an elderly man in November last year, Exeter Crown Court was told on Thursday (January 3).

He left one of the elderly women feeling unsafe in her own home after forcing her inside and demanding cash. She was saved by her neighbour who heard her shouting at Hayes to get out.

Hayes, aged 31, of Coombe Street, Exeter, admitted robbery, burglary, six thefts, four frauds, three counts of having or using counterfeit currency, possessing an offensive weapon, jumping bail, and criminal damage.

He will be sentenced next week but has already been told he will receive an immediate jail sentence.

Heather Hope, prosecuting, said the burglary took place in June at the home of an 89-year-old dementia patient whose carer found Hayes inside her house.

He had already stolen £40 in cheques by falsely claiming to have cleaned the windows of her Exeter home.

He struck again at the home of a multiple sclerosis sufferer in the same street, where he was found in her home twice in the space of three days, having searched for things to steal and sat down on her sofa drinking her beer.

The third victim was an 84-year-old woman living alone in Exeter, who opened her door to Hayes, who stuck his foot inside and pushed his way in, demanding cash for window cleaning.

He carried out that intrusion when he had already failed to turn up at magistrates’ court for other offences and had jumped bail.

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