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Last Updated: Tuesday, 11 April 2006, 17:29 GMT 18:29 UK
Pc conman jailed for four years
John Morgan
John Morgan lived lavishly while working as a constable
A former police officer has been jailed for four years after being found guilty of stealing almost 280,000 from an 89-year-old woman.

John Morgan, 48, of Frinton-on-Sea, Essex, lived lavishly on Joan Harpin's money while he was a constable with the Metropolitan Police.

Morgan, who resigned after being arrested, was convicted of obtaining money by deception and forgery.

He denied committing any offence during a trial at Basildon Crown Court.

Prosecutors told the court that Morgan met Miss Harpin five years ago when he was investigating bogus callers at her London home.

She was the perfect victim
Peter Gare, prosecutor

She now lives in a care home in Holland-on-Sea, Essex.

Over a three-year period Morgan, who later transferred to Essex police, stole the pensioner's savings and sold her home in Palmers Green, north London.

He gained access to Miss Harpin's assets by persuading her to give him power of attorney.

Miss Harpin, described as a timid and retiring spinster, said she became friends with him after he knocked on her door in the bogus workers inquiry.

Joan Harpin
Joan Harpin had no close relatives to look out for her

In a police interview she said: "I think he felt a bit sorry for me. I trusted him because I got on with him. He did such a lot for me when I needed it.

"I didn't think he was doing too much wrong really. I thought he was quite honest but I suppose he got carried away a bit."

Police said he had left her with just 6,000 but his bank accounts have been frozen as officers try to recover Miss Harpin's money.

Peter Gare, who compiled the case against Morgan for the Crown Prosecution Service, told Five Live Drive that the former Pc thought he would be able to get away with his crime:

"She was the perfect victim. She had no close family, she had no children, no husband as such and therefore John Morgan knew from the word go that she was the perfect victim," Mr Gare said.

"He could get her money and hopefully get away with it because no-one would believe her when she would say well where's all my money gone? She wouldn't even know it was gone half the time."




BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
See Joan Harpin tell about her experience of John Morgan



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