A MAN living with dementia was stripped of his self-confidence in the final year of his life after being duped of £2,500 by father and son fraudsters.

Ken Hogg (84), of Corbridge, was one of the many vulnerable and elderly people targeted by conmen William and Mark Nunn, who pocketed £20,000 after pretending to be Highways Agency workers.

Nunn snr (60), of Doncaster, was jailed for 32 months and Nunn jnr, of Morecambe, 16 months at Newcastle Crown Court in March after pleading guilty to conspiracy to defraud.

Mr Hogg’s widow, Liz (64), this week spoke about how much the incident affected her husband’s confidence and trust in the months leading up to his death last September, nearly one year after the conmen struck.

Mr Hogg was coerced into signing a blank cheque for repair work, estimated at £160, to a communal driveway. It later transpired that a sum of £2,500 was paid into the account held by the Nunns’ company, the Highways Agents Ltd.

Mrs Hogg said: “He never saw himself as vulnerable. We were aware he was, but we never expected he would be targeted like this in his own home.

“It makes me realise we were so trusting and, soon after this happened, we installed CCTV cameras in the house. The effect it had on Ken was just awful to see.

“He was embarrassed and he knew something wasn’t right but he was really distressed as he couldn’t remember all of the details. Although his memory meant he couldn’t actually remember it, he stopped answering the door and telephone after that.”

Mrs Hogg believed that the Nunns were opportunist fraudsters who happened to knock on her husband’s door that fateful day.

She said the pair initially visited to tell Mr Hogg he needed some work done, before returning a couple of days later and leaving with the blank cheque.

“It would have been evident to anybody who spoke to him that he had difficulties and wouldn’t have been able think through things logically because he had advanced dementia,” she said.

“We will never know what they said to him or how threatening or pushy they were.

“They were very clever as they knew which part of the driveway belonged to the local authority and which was privately owned, and wore high viz jackets to make people believe they were reputable.”

Police successfully managed to track Mr Hogg’s cheque to ensure his money was retrieved.