A TENANT cheated a friend out of a month’s wages by pretending to be the landlord of his home, York Crown Court heard.

Market trader Mihai Liviu Poiana told a jury he paid Carmel Borbone £550 as deposit for a flat in Gillygate that Borbone told him was his.

The flat’s real landlord, Vinerica Aisling Gioiello said Borbone rented the flat from her with another man from April 2012.

He only paid one month’s rent, didn’t tell her until after he had moved in that he would also have his wife and family there, and it took her a year to get him out of the flat.

Borbone, 50, now of Bawtry Gate, Sheffield, claimed that he was a successful businessman with more than £30,000 in the bank who ran Shambles Butchers in Little Shambles at the time of the fraud in the summer of 2013.

He said he lent Mr Poiana money and let him take unsold meat from the shop at closing time and the money was repayment for loans.

The jury did not know that in 2012, environmental health officers had shut the butchers under emergency powers and declared it an e-coli risk because Borbone used the same tools to handle raw and ready to eat meat.

The jury did hear that Borbone had five previous convictions in his native Italy for bouncing cheques.

They convicted Borbone of fraud. He had denied the charge.

“I think it was particularly mean,” the Honorary Recorder of York, Judge Paul Batty QC, said. “It wasn’t opportunistic, the defendant perfectly well knew what he was doing.”

The £550 “deposit” was the equivalent of a month’s wages for the victim, said the judge.

He ordered Borbone to repay the money and do 120 hours’ unpaid work.

Borbone was not charged until this Spring because he left York and police could not trace him.

He told the jury during his time in the UK he had lived in several towns and said: “I don’t think it’s a crime moving about”.

The shop run by Borbone is not connected with any butchers currently in Shambles or Shambles Market.