Driveway gang loses its bid for freedom

Frank Tomney Snr,   (below)Francis Tomney Jnr and Thomas Tomney
Frank Tomney Snr, (below)Francis Tomney Jnr and Thomas Tomney

A heartless gang who scammed vulnerable pensioners by charging them thousands of pounds for shoddy building work has lost an appeal for freedom.

Francis James Tomney, 56, and his 22-year-old twin sons, Francis Alexander Tomney and Thomas Michael Tomney, all of Dorset Avenue, Cleveleys, carried out their heartless frauds between January, 2008, and October, 2009.

Francis Tomney Jnr

Francis Tomney Jnr

The trio fleeced pensioners living across Lancashire and Hertfordshire, including ones in Preesall, Hambleton, Fleetwood, Knott End and across the Fylde coast – where they conned one woman out of almost £31,000.

Another 80-year-old victim, from Stockport, was told chemical sealant was being poured on to his driveway – when in fact it was watered down milk.

The Tomneys were all jailed at Preston Crown Court in November last year, after they admitted offences relating to 11 pensioners who were cheated out of their money.

Brian Tomney, 30, of Leyland Road, Bromley, West Midlands, who is Francis Tomney Snr’s nephew, was also jailed after admitting his part in the scam on the Stockport victim.

Thomas Tomney

Thomas Tomney

All four men challenged their jail terms at London’s Criminal Appeal Court, where their lawyers argued the terms were “too long” for their crimes.

But their appeals were dismissed by three judges, who said the sentences were “not excessive”.

Lady Justice Hallett, sitting with Mr Justice Stadlen and Judge Peter Jacobs, said: “These appellants not only preyed on the elderly and vulnerable, they made no attempt whatsoever to pay anything towards society.

“Instead, they squirrelled away substantial sums of money to spend on themselves and their families.

“One wonders if any of the appellants have the slightest idea of the effect on the elderly person of being cheated in this way.

“None of these appellants has any cause to complain about the sentences passed on them.”

Francis Tomney Snr was jailed for five-and-a-half years after admitting conspiracy to commit fraud, two charges of cheating the public revenue and handling 
stolen goods.

Francis Tomney Jnr was jailed for five years after admitting conspiracy to commit fraud and cheating the public revenue, and Thomas Tomney was jailed for four-and-half years after admitting conspiracy to commit fraud.

Brian Tomney was jailed for a total of five years after admitting one count of fraud and cheating the public revenue, and being convicted of a second count of fraud.