A CONMAN who claimed to be a police helicopter pilot took cash from people saying he could get them cheap cars.

Roy Tanner told lie after lie after lie to cheat his trusting victims out of nearly £10,000 in cash and services during a six month period.
He also tapped up his victims for loans which were never repaid, a court was told, and sent them bouncing cheques before going to ground when the vehicles never arrived.

Now the 56-year-old, of Green Meadow Avenue, has been jailed for two years and four months for the latest in a long history of similar confidence tricks.

Tanner, who has more than 70 previous convictions stretching back to the 1970s, was even on a conditional discharge for an almost identical con.

He put on this facade of being in the police, also saying he had been injured in a motorcycle crash while in the force before taking to the air.

As he gained his victims’ trust he told them he could get his hands on cheap cars through contacts in the insurance trade.

Tanner, who has cerebral palsy, would also ‘lay guilt trips’ on his victims and would burst into tears if they suggested they were uncertain about going ahead with a deal.

After turning on the waterworks he would spin them a line about his parents dying in a plane crash and leaving him rich with a legacy of land and property.

Claire Marlow, prosecuting, told Swindon Crown Court how he met his first victim through a mutual friend, taking him for £803 in deposits for two cars.

That man also put a friend from Edinburgh in contact with Tanner, who told him he could get a 2009 BMW estate for £4,200.

The Scot met him at a motorway service station in the Midlands and handed over £2,000 part payment for the car, but like his pal, was given excuses and cheques which didn’t clear.

Tanner conned Bella’s Interiors into fitting £3,000 of blinds and curtains at his home and took a self-employed carpenter for £2,000 to fit oak doors.
He took more than £1,000 from a man he got chatting to at a cafe in Coate Water and a similar amount from the mother of a man who delivered papers near his home.

Tanner pleaded guilty to four counts of fraud and two of obtaining property by deception. He was put on a two year conditional discharge in May 2009, for an almost identical car con, which he breached with these offences.
William Woodman defending, said his client appeared to have an ‘addiction’ to the crime and urged the court to give him help not jail.

As well as cerebral palsy he said he suffered chronic obstructive lung disorder and he said he was full of remorse for what he had done.

But Judge Euan Ambrose said: “You are now 56 years of age and you are a conman: your record makes that abundantly clear...
“Between November 2010 and may 2011 you conned another six people and they are reflected in the six counts on the indictment. Like the conman that you are, you told lie after lie after lie to reassure those people that either the goods would be provided or they would be paid for.

“What you did was to prey on their trust and goodwill and you continued to deceive each of them.”