A fraudster has been jailed for 15 months after attempting to trick a pensioner into handing over his credit card.

Anthony Bardell, 69, of Frogmore in Berkshire, was contacted on October 16 last year by an anonymous man and told there were problems with his bank account.

He was then asked to pass his PIN number over the phone, which he did, and was told that someone would go to his house to collect the credit card.

Staff at Radlett Radio Cars were then contacted to send a driver to collect the card and send it to a house in Chingford Avenue.

Nicholas Lee, 41, of Dale View Avenue, had been lined up as a courier to take the card from Chingford Avenue to an unknown address.

But the card never arrived in Chingford Avenue, where Lee used to live, as staff at the mini cab firm had already alerted police, who arrested Lee and the fraud attempt was foiled.

An attempt had also been made to re-direct the victim’s mail in Frogmore to Chingford Avenue.

Lee pleaded guilty at St Albans Crown Court to being concerned with an unknown person to commit fraud by false representation.

Defence barrister Robert Acheson said: "He had pleaded guilty to a mean offence. He was contacted on the day by a friend and asked to collect something.

"He knew it was some sort of credit card fraud, but his involvement is limited to a short period of time. He was the runner."

Mr Acheson, said Lee, who runs a building company, had “reflected on the fact that his parents were of a similar age to the victim and was remorseful”.

Lee was sentenced to 15 months in jail at St Albans Crown Court on Tuesday.

Sentencing him, Judge Stephen Warner said: "It was a planned, deliberate targeting of an elderly victim.

"You played a willing part in enabling the fraud to be carried out.  It had the hallmarks of a professional and organised enterprise."