WHEN an elderly Hampshire artist found herself the victim of a conman she knew exactly what to do.
The 79-year-old used her artistic talents to produce a picture of the man who stole hundreds of pounds from her.
Patricia Morrison handed it over to police to help them in the hunt for the bogus builder who left her “traumatised” when he struck.
Patricia, who lives near Winchester, says she let the man into her home after he claimed to have carried out work for her neighbours.
She said he demanded £200 as a deposit before he could begin work on a new porch for her bungalow.
Patricia handed the money over for fear of angering him.
“I thought I might get a punch in the face so I just let him have the money and I was just glad to see the back of him. I feel traumatised.
“These people who do this kind of thing are pretty grotty. I blame society though – there’s not enough discipline,” she said.
Patricia has now used her artistic skills to help police with their investigation.
“That night I couldn’t sleep but I’m an artist so I painted a portrait of him as a way of getting him out of my head,” she said.
“I just hope it helps catch him before he does it to someone else.”
A former rehabilitation officer for social services she also volunteers as an art teacher for the elderly and people with learning difficulties.
The trickster is described as white, between 32 and 33 years old, about 5ft 7ins, of athletic build with brown eyes, a plump face, gaps between his teeth and fresh cuts over his left eye.
He was wearing a grey or navy fleece jumper and a hi-vis jacket.
He also spoke very slowly.
PC Cassandra Hakin said: “This is a horrible crime where an elderly woman has been tricked into handing over money.
“If you have seen anyone suspicious in the area, or had someone cold calling at your door, contact the police. Genuine companies will not call at your home offering to complete work without a prior appointment.
“Do not buy goods or services on the doorstep and if the caller does not leave, then call the police.”
Anyone with information about the incident should telephone the police on 101. Alternatively, information can be given anonymously by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.