A YOUNG couple will have to wait to learn their fate for a "heartless" systematic fraud on a traffic accident victim because one of them may have been misleading a judge.

The disabled man had suffered major injuries including a fractured skull in a motorcycle crash that left him in a coma for three months, later suffered a stroke and had difficulty speaking and moving about the city, said Jo Shepherd, prosecuting, at York Crown Court.

Aaron Phillips, 26, and his girlfriend Robin Louise Evans, 25, both of Shambles, York, used false names, repeatedly persuaded the man to lend them money, several times used his bank card to withdraw money from his account without his knowledge and burgled his home in July and August last year.

When both pleaded guilty to burglary, Phillips pleaded guilty to seven charges of fraud and Evans to one fraud charge last month, Judge Andrew Stubbs QC adjourned their sentences.

Phillips told him he was the main carer for his seriously ill father and needed time to make arrangements for his care should he be jailed.

When the couple returned to court for sentence, probation officers told the Honorary Recorder of York, Judge Paul Batty QC, that Phillips' father had refused to sign a consent for them to check his medical condition with his GP, and Phillips had not turned up for an appointment with them.

And Ms Shepherd said a year earlier during the frauds, Evans had told the victim they had been unable to take him on a promised day trip to Scarborough because Phillips' father had then been given 48 hours to live.

"This man is a professional fraudster," Judge Batty said of Aaron Phillips and adjourned their case until September 14.

Remanding him in custody, he said: "The question of the state of health of your father needs to be resolved once and for all."

He said the court needed to know if Phillips had been misleading Judge Stubbs over his father's health for his own benefit.

"Certainly that is what you were doing as part and parcel of this heartless fraud on this vulnerable man," the judge said.

For Phillips Andrew Stranex said his lawyers had repeatedly pressed the father's GP to give them the details, but without success.

Full mitigation for both defendants will be given when they return to court. Evans was given bail.