Falmouth woman speaks out after pair who conned her out of home are sentenced
A FALMOUTH woman conned out of her own home has described it as a "horrendous nightmare".
Patricia Young was duped by a brother and sister when she replied to a debt service advert in a national newspaper in 2008.
They convinced her to complete forms to remortgage her four-bedroom bungalow off Bickland Water Road but used the details provided to fraudulently sell her house.
She is now being forced to 'squat' in her own home as she goes through the civil courts to try and regain her house.
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At Taunton Crown Court David Ross Cairns, 56, of Tyne and Wear, and Helen Myra Cairns, 50, of Ayrshire, faced fraud charges involving hundreds of thousands of pounds and three properties in Falmouth, Warwickshire and Lancashire. Cairns admitted five charges and was handed a four-year jail sentence and his sister admitted one charge and was given a 15-month suspended sentence.
Mrs Young, 62, said "It's a victory, but I'd rather have my house. It wasn't the length of his sentence, but the fact he admitted it and showed I wasn't the fool I was made out to be."
Mrs Young was persuaded to remortgage her home by the pair after she contacted them for advice, only to find months later that they had sold it.
"I was shocked," she said. "I checked the company out beforehand and saw nothing untoward. Everything seemed legitimate.
"I was lulled into a false sense of security as he seemed so plausible. It was a bombshell to find out what he had done." Once she realised, she spent hours amassing evidence and called in the police.
Lead investigator DC Dave Palmer from Falmouth said: "It was one of the most difficult investigations I've done.
"This sort of case is rare and I'm satisfied justice has been done, but those victims are still up to their necks in debt. They were older people in debt, who wanted to release equity and were conned out of their homes. It's dreadful."
Mrs Young is trying to get her home back, with a local solicitor who is working free of charge, but said the situation had caused a lot of distress to her and her family.
"I've been in limbo for five years and it's not over yet," she said. "It's been a horrendous nightmare.
"I thought it was going to destroy me totally, but I don't feel sorry for myself. I'm a fighter and I'm not going to give up."