Rogue trader on the run after conning pensioner out of half a million

John Jenkins.

John Jenkins.

An Aylesbury builder has gone on the run after conning a vulnerable widow out of £530,000.

Police have visited two addresses in Aylesbury to search for pony-tailed John Jenkins, 70, who failed to turn up for the last day of his trial at St Albans Crown Court on Monday.

The conman, of Poets Chase, Aylesbury was convicted of fraud in his absence, after duping Josephine Stubbings of Berkhamsted who suffers from mental health problems.

Over three and a half years, a total of £532,695 passed between Mrs Stubbings and Jenkins for work that a surveyor said should have cost £60,000.

After the jury had delivered their verdict court recorder Simon Sterling issued a warrant for Jenkins’ arrest.

He told the jury the fraudster had called his lawyer Andrew Campbell on Sunday in a distressed state.

His girlfriend the sent a text to Mr Campbell on the day of the hearing saying that Jenkins went out and had not come back - it is feared he has left the country.

During the trial the court was told that Jenkins spent thousands of pounds of the victim’s money on holidays to Spain and America on shopping trips.

Prosecutor Michael Speak, said: “He relentlessly spent the money. He went on the most extraordinary spending sprees day after day.”

The court also heard that on one occasion he took Mrs Stubbings to a car dealership where he tried to persuade her to buy him a Jaguar.

Anyone with any information on the whereabouts of Jenkins can contact police by calling 101




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