A five-man team has been set up by West Yorkshire Police to investigate the activities of bogus officials. Ashley Broadley spoke to the daughter of a pensioner who was a victim of a con man.

Mary Atkins is not eating, sleeping and has lost her voice.

The usually sprightly 81-year-old has totally changed since a man tricked his way into her home to steal her purse. And now she is terrified in case the man returns.

Her daughter, Irene Howarth, said she is very worried about her mother.

"Since the incident, she's been terrible," said Mrs Howarth. "She is really depressed and it is getting me down as well, seeing my mum like that."

It was a dark evening in January when Mrs Atkins answered the door to a man in his twenties.

The man claimed to be concerned about someone trying to break into her flat which she was forced to flee on Boxing Day after the central heating boiler burst for the second time in a week. He barged past Mrs Atkins and pretended to check her windows to see if they were secure. After he had left her house in the Otley Road area of Bradford, the pensioner discovered her purse had been stolen.

Mrs Howarth said: "It's disgusting what these people do. They must have no conscience whatsoever.

"He must have realised my mum was bad on her feet. He must have been watching the house for some time.

"These people are devious. Because of what happened, my mum is going downhill fast.

"I'm really worried because she doesn't seem to be getting any better."

Mrs Atkins did not let the man into her house, even after he claimed he had come to check her windows for her. She followed crime prevention rules and kept the chain on. But the man reached round the door to unlock the chain and barged past her.

"My mum's not eating," said Mrs Howarth. "She's just picking at her food. After the flood she lost her voice and she was just getting it back. And then this happened and it's back to square one."

Mrs Atkins is £500 worse off following the burglary. But the money means nothing to her daughter. All she wants is her mum back to her old self.

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