A FRAUDSTER who conned shop staff in York and North Yorkshire with fake tales of faulty goods has been jailed.

Ian Patrick McEnroe, 55, claimed a Lego set had a metal bar in it which could be dangerous, he suffered an electric shock from a Christmas ornament, a bottle of Prosecco had injured his daughter and that three bunches of flowers had been covered in blood when his wife had a mishap, Katherine Smith told York magistrates.

On each occasion, he had just picked the goods up in the store and taken them to customer services without buying them to ask for a refund for money he had not paid.

In Asda’s Monks Cross store on March 31, he picked up one bunch of flowers, but claimed he had bought four bunches and that the remaining three were at home covered in blood.

“These were planned and sophisticated offences,” said Mrs Smith.

“At five different places he committed the same kind of offence, pretending to purchase products and demanding a cash refund. It was relatively sustained over a five month period from October to March.”

Altogether he got away with £352.99 in cash.

McEnroe, formerly of Market Street, Northampton, who moved to Leeds in 2018,and who has 174 previous convictions in different parts of the country, almost all for fraud, pleaded guilty to five charges of fraud and was jailed for eight weeks.

He was also ordered to pay £342.99 compensation to the stores he conned and a £115 statutory surcharge.

For him, Abbie Whelan said his criminal career began when he turned to drugs after losing his girlfriend in a car crash in 2006. He offended to get money to buy drugs.

He had the chance to have accommodation and support on his release from prison if he was released in November, the court heard.

In his latest frauds, McEnroe got £75 from Asda at Monks’ Cross with his flowers claim, a £72 “refund” from Sainsbury’s in Knaresborough for four bottles of Prosecco, a £50 “refund” from Tesco’s in Northallerton for two boxes of cutlery, a £56.99 “refund” for an electrical Christmas ornament from Thirsk Garden Centre and a £89 “refund” for Lego Dinosaur sets from Sam Turner and Sons in Northallerton.