'Sick' conman preys on elderly Crouch End couple promising cure for disabled son
PUBLISHED: 13:23 24 November 2017 | UPDATED: 11:08 27 November 2017
An elderly couple have been left distraught by a ‘sick’ fake doctor who kissed them on both cheeks after taking £200 to pay towards a cure for their disabled son’s condition.
On Friday, November 17 at about 3.50pm Marina Innes’s 70-year-old father and wheelchair-bound brother, 46, who asked to remain anonymous, were stopped by a man outside Medlock Electric in Green Lanes.
Speaking Greek the man told Mrs Innes’s dad he was a doctor at the family’s local hospital, the Whittington, and often saw him and his son, who has progressive multiple sclerosis (MS).
The conman promised the father to get hold of new drugs available in the USA he said could cure MS.
Desperate to find a remedy for his son’s condition Marina’s dad fell for the con and invited the fake doctor to the family home in Crouch End where he went on to charm Marina’s parents, telling her mother she looked just like his own.
Mrs Innes said her mother has always wanted to find a cure for her son’s MS and was waiting for an announcement from the European Medicines Association on whether they will license a new drug Ocrelizumab. She said the conman succeeded because his story fitted in with the drugs the family had been researching.
The trickster spent two hours pushing Mrs Innes’s parents into handing over £400 which he demanded in spite of pleas to give it to him the next day allowing them time to check him and his story out. But he argued the cure would arrive sooner if he could get the money quickly.
On his way out he kissed both parents on the cheeks vowing to return the next day for the remaining £200 having only extracted half the amount he asked for. After he left Mrs Innes’s mum realised they’d just been conned and called the police. The conman has not been seen by the family since.
“He was incredibly persistent. My mum has said thank god it was not a large amount of money, but she felt violated. To allow someone into your home and for that person to prey on your vulnerabilities is awful and just disgusting. He saw my disabled brother as an opportunity to steal money. It’s incredibly sick,” Mrs Innes said.
“My parents are at a vulnerable age. Such incidents can knock their confidence. I would say to older adults to not let anyone you’ve never met before into your home, no matter how genuine they seem - you have every right to say no.
“I believe more people have been targeted by this man and haven’t reported him. Maybe because he was unsuccessful and it wasn’t serious enough, or maybe they are too frightened,” Mrs Innes added before calling on anyone with information to come forward.
The man is of Middle Eastern appearance and about 50 years old with black, coarse hair with white showing through.
No arrests have been made and enquiries continue. Anyone with information should contact Haringey police on 101.