Man gets 22 weeks' jail for cheating HDB residents

Man gets 22 weeks' jail for cheating HDB residents

Over four months this year, a stranger knocked on the doors of HDB residents and claimed to be their neighbour from the same block.

Saying a family member needed medical treatment, he would take urgent loans from them and promise to return the money later in the day.

But Andrew Yapp, 64, was not there when they turned up at the flats where he said he lived.

The unemployed man used the $260 procured for petty expenses such as buying cigarettes instead.

Yesterday, he was sentenced to 22 weeks in jail after pleading guilty to two counts of cheating. Two similar charges were taken into consideration.

District Judge Lim Keng Yeow also ordered Yapp, who has already returned $100, to return the balance to his victims.

The judge noted that the elderly con man, who had been jailed a total of eight weeks in 2011 and last year for convictions on six similar charges, had carried out his ruse "over and over" again.

He said Yapp had preyed on the kindness of his victims to get money to spend on "frivolous" items.

But Judge Lim spared Yapp corrective training - a tough prison regime for repeat offenders without remission for good behaviour - on account of his health issues.

According to a medical report last year, Yapp, who is married without children, suffers from leukaemia and depression. He also claimed to have asthma yesterday.

He approached his four victims - all women - at their homes in Woodlands and Sembawang in February and May this year.

The court heard that he committed the first offence on the afternoon of Feb 18 at Block 463B, Sembawang Drive.

Yapp told his 41-year-old victim that he needed money for medical treatment for his daughter, but had left his wallet and house keys in his wife's car. The girl had purportedly fallen in school and bruised her nose.

He took $100 from her and promised to return it after his wife returned from work that day.

For each charge that he faced for cheating and dishonestly getting victims to give him money, Yapp could have been sentenced to up to 10 years in prison and fined.

This article was first published on June 7, 2014.
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