A Wythenshawe conman who tried to persuade holidaymakers to part with their cash, claiming he needed it to visit a sick relative, has been jailed.
Gary Lyon, aged 50 of Shayfield Drive, defrauded people at Manchester Airport in November last year by asking for money so that he could visit an ill family member in hospital.
On the first occasion, he preyed on the kind nature of a business traveller by telling him his car had broken down and he needed money to buy fuel to get to his father-in-law in hospital who had suffered a heart attack.
Lyon promised to pay him back giving him his number to transfer the money but when the victim called later on, the conman never answered.
Around the same time the next day, a 69-year-old woman was picked up at the arrivals hall by her husband, who had recently been discharged from hospital for respiratory problems.
As they were carrying her suitcases to the car, Lyon approached, noticing that the husband was unwell, and offered to carry the bags. The woman politely refused and carried on walking to the car but Lyon grabbed the suitcases and took them to the boot of their car.
He then told the couple he wanted a favour from them and spun them a tail that he needed money to get to his father in hospital who had had a heart attack.
Lyon again promised he would pay the money back to them but when the woman refused to hand any cash over, he got aggressive and despite her efforts to alleviate the situation, he identified a nearby cash machine and marched her over to it.
Fearing for her safety, the woman withdrew some money and handed it to Lyon but as soon as she did this, he ran off saying it wasn’t enough and exclaimed he would get the rest from her husband who was waiting in the car.
She ran after him, concerned for her husband’s safety but Lyon had beaten her to it and was forcing her husband to give him money as she caught up with him.
Startled at how quickly the woman got to the car, he ran off from the scene.
Lyon, who had previous convictions for similar offences, was jailed for one year and four months at Manchester Crown Court.
Detective Constable Alex Wild, of GMP’s Airport CID, said: “Lyon preyed on the good nature of innocent people and took advantage of them, faking family illnesses, which no-one would wish on their loved ones.
“It seems he was oblivious to the effect his offending was having on people but today I’m sure it’s explicitly clear to him that he is now where he is because of his own sickening actions.”