Career fraudster jailed once again for conning farmers into handing over tractors
Fraudster got tractors to repair but put them up for sale
A convicted sex offender and fraudster was jailed once again this week for conning farmers into handing over tractors.
Damien Peter Loughran (34), from Jubilee Park, Cookstown, pleaded guilty to two sets of offending with a combined total of more than 40 charges, accumulating over £25,000 in value and targeting multiple victims in Counties Armagh, Down and Tyrone.
Shameless career criminal Loughran is a regular before the courts and after being convicted of sexual assault in 2007 police went to court two years later to stop him moving in with an older woman who had teenage daughters.
Loughran has an extensive criminal record with 148 convictions of which 74 were for fraud.
Jailing him this week for three years at Dungannon Crown Court, the judge said he was “appalled” at his behaviour.
Judge Neil Rafferty added: “Quite frankly it takes a lot to appal me, but this is a confidence hoaxer who just makes his living this way. He manages to endear himself to people using some sort of charisma and claims of ill-health.”
In offences running from April 2017 and January 2018, Loughran took tractors supposedly to carry out repairs, taking cash from the owners. However, he put the tractors up for sale.
Thirteen counts of fraud by false representations involved Loughran taking three tractors from various people for repair. He also offered seven tractors and various engine parts for sale, when all belonged to others.
He had tried to seek a collective £660 to carry out repairs to the tractors.
Twelve offences related to the theft of three tractors and cash totalling £7,050, as well as £300 bank credit.
Loughran perverted the course of justice by making a false report of a burglary to police. This occurred after the owner of a tractor which Loughran had taken for repairs went to the shed in Dungannon where it was supposed to be stored.
On finding it missing he challenged Loughran who deliberately damaged the lock and reported to the premises to have been burgled.
There were further convictions of running up £1,291 in a mechanical supplies company trade accounts, stealing a low-loader, and three counts of driving while disqualified and without insurance.
In a bid to avoid a jail sentence, Loughran’s legal team argued that he suffered from drug problems.
His barrister said: “My client struggles with addictions. He falls into debt to dangerous elements in society who will do bad things to him. He is under pressure to get money to pay the debt.”
But Judge Rafferty took no pity on Loughran, telling him: “You are not a first-time offender. You have previously serviced prison terms for similar offending – the difficulty is it has made no impact on your offending behaviour.”
Loughran has a conviction for indecent assault on a female from 2007 for which he served three months in jail.
In 2009 we reported how police took unprecedented steps to stop him moving in with his partner who had teenage daughters at the time.
Loughran was fighting a police order to stop his girlfriend from moving into his Cookstown home. He had previously been caught living in his partner’s home with the kids before Social Services found out and intervened.
Cops feared the girls may be at risk as it’s a well-known tactic for sex offenders to target older partners with children and in this case the age difference was more than 10 years.
Social Services and the police got involved in February 2008 when it emerged Loughran was living alone with the children.
In 2013 we reported how Loughran went on a staggering crime spree across Northern Ireland over an 18-month period.
The shameless crook wrote dozens of dodgy bank cheques which he knew he didn’t have the funds to cover. He also stole cash and sold farm machinery which didn’t belong to him – leaving businesses out of pocket to the tune of almost £60,000.
A source who knows Loughran told the Sunday World: “He’s addicted to crime. Conning and stealing is all he knows. He has no sense of morals at all and doesn’t care that he leaves people completely fleeced.
“He’s a scumbag through and through. At least he is behind bars for while.”