WORKMEN conned a 76-year-old Acomb man out of more than £20,000, a jury at York Crown Court was told.

David Hall, prosecuting, alleged that Anthony Robert Turner and Downes Alexander Aislabie exaggerated the value of the paving they were laying on Thomas Medd's driveway and persuaded him to hand over nearly four times the work's true value, the barrister added.

The pair's actions also led to another Acomb man losing £3,700 when he cashed the pensioner's cheques for them.

Mr Medd claimed that his bank called in police to investigate when he told staff why he kept asking for increased overdraft facilities.

Turner, 43, of Carrick Street, Hartlepool, denies four charges of deception and one of attempted deception totalling more than £20,000, and is standing trial this week at York Crown Court.

The jury heard that Aislabie, 38, of West View Road, Central Estate, also Hartlepool, has pleaded guilty to four deceptions and one attempted deception.

Mr Medd, giving evidence, alleged that Turner arrived "touting for business with a card" at his house and persuaded him to hand over £1,400.

Turner said the money was partly in payment for earlier work and partly for replacing roof tiles. Mr Medd alleged that at the time, he did not know whether he owed Turner money. On a later occasion, both men quoted him £8,000 for paving his driveway with three other men. Again and again they asked him for cash during the work, and alleged the price was now £12,000.

Earlier, Mr Hall, opening the prosecution, claimed that an expert had assessed the work as being worth at most £5,000.

Mr Hall claimed that in addition to handing over cash, Mr Medd, at the men's suggestion, wrote out cheques to a Herbert Lockwood, who lived nearby.

Mr Lockwood cashed the cheques and gave the money to the men who paid him £40 or £50 per cheque, claimed Mr Hall.

They may have done this because they had no bank account themselves or they wanted to cover their traces, he suggested.

On one occasion, after Mr Lockwood had handed over £3,700, the cheque bounced, leaving him out of pocket.

The trial continues.

Updated: 10:57 Tuesday, May 20, 2003