A MAN fleeced a 90-year old, leaving his bank account empty, after claiming to be in the area warning others about cold calling, a court heard.

When police investigated the alleged burglary at North Hinksey Lane, Oxford, prosecutors said, a fingerprint of the accused was found on a 'no cold calling' sticker he had placed on a window.

Daniel West, of Clifton, Nottingham, denies one count of burglary and one of fraud by false representation.

Outlining the case against him at the start of his trial at Oxford Crown Court yesterday jurors were told how the 31-year old had carried out the so-called 'distraction burglary' some time between April 23 and May 29 last year.

Prosecutor Julian Lynch said that on the day of the burglary West had claimed to be out trying to warn others of local scams.

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He said: "[The victim] was at home when there was a knock at the door. He went to answer it and outside was a man, a stranger to him, and the Crown Prosecution Service say this defendant.

"He said that he was going door-to-door providing advice and warnings about cold callers and he could provide signs and stickers and other items to warn cold callers."

The two struck up a conversation, the court heard, before the alleged victim went to get West a cup of tea, leaving the man alone in the living room.

During those 10 minutes while a brew was prepared, jurors were told, West searched the room before finding a cheque book linked to the man's bank account.

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West then snatched four individual blank cheques, prosecutors said, before the alleged victim came back.

Before leaving, the court heard, West agreed to place a sticker in the living room window warning away cold callers.

Mr Lynch went on to say that when police later investigated the alleged burglary a fingerprint was found on that sticker matching West's prints.

He added that the date of the burglary was not specific because the alleged victim, a man in his 90s, did not notice the burglary had taken place immediately and later could not recall the exact date.

Jurors went on to hear of another woman involved in the incident, named as Kirstie Guy, who prosecutors claim was seen depositing cheques to the value of £3,000 on two separate occasions.

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On a third trip to the bank, the court heard, she was filmed together with West dropping a third cheque into a telling machine, but he was not seen on the first two trips.

During a fourth attempt to cash a cheque, jurors were told, the transaction failed after there was not enough funds. Mr Lynch said the victim had been 'cleared out effectively.'

At police interview, jurors were told, West denied carrying out the offence through a prepared statement and did not answer further questions.

The trial, expected to last three days, continues.