A CON artist tricked firms into donating money for a non-existent cancer charity by telling them his dad and brother had the disease.

David Solomon told businesses in Headington on November 13, last year he was doing a walk to raise money for “Cancer Relations” after his dad died 15 years ago and that the charity had helped his brother survive the illness.

But after one victim became suspicious of his sponsorship form and discovered neither the charity nor the charity number stated existed any more he challenged him in the street, Oxford Magistrates’ Court heard on Friday.

Harold Davies, who was working in Taylor’s Estate Agents in London Road at the time, then took Solomon to businesses he had conned in Windmill Road and asked him to repay his victims.

Solomon targeted the bridal shop Japlene and the Black Mamba Tattoo Studio among others in the area for small amounts, the court was told.

In a police interview he told officers he was collecting for Cancer Research UK and would also contact Macmillan. The charity number he quoted related to the Roswell Trust which is no longer a charity.

Solomon, 35, pleaded not guilty to three counts of fraud by false representation but was convicted within an hour by District Judge Tim Pattinson on Thursday.

Throughout his cross-examination, Solomon, of Kimmeridge Road, Cumnor, maintained it had been a “genuine mistake”. He said: “I took my driving licence with me. If I was doing fraud I would have run off and disappeared. It was a genuine mistake and I had to put it right.”

Judge Pattinson was also told that in May this year he stole £120 from an 83-year-old woman’s purse at her home in Swindon when she went to get him money as he was “collecting” for British Heart Foundation.

He also committed similar scams in Cumnor claiming he was raising money for BHF.

In June he pleaded guilty to two counts of fraud and one of theft but sentencing was deferred.

Julian Lynch, prosecuting, said: “You knew you needed permission to do this from the charities and after that you were convicted of more incidents where you falsified your status as a charity collector. You pretended you were a charity collector to get money.”

Solomon denied this.

Judge Pattinson said: “A prison sentence is very likely here.”

He was not given evidence whether or not Solomon’s relatives had cancer.

Speaking after the hearing Mr Davies, 48, who is now branch manager for Andrews estate agents, said: “He deserves everything he gets for playing the system instead of owning up and saying sorry.”

Solomon will be sentenced on September 5 once a pre-sentence report is written.