A Wiltshire man has been jailed after manipulating his grandparents into handing over hundreds of thousands of pounds during a decade of “appalling” behaviour.

Daniel Tilden, of no fixed abode, manipulated his Wiltshire victims, aged 79 and 81, into giving him more than £384,000 over the course of 10 years.

On Wednesday, April 24, the 31-year-old was sentenced to three years and nine months in prison at Swindon Crown Court, following a three-year investigation by the Devizes Neighbourhood Policing Team.

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The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Daniel TildenDaniel Tilden (Image: Wiltshire Police)

PC Sarah Hardwidge, based in Devizes, added: “Daniel’s offending behaviour towards his grandparents was appalling.

“He took advantage of their good nature and has caused them lasting distress in their own home.  

“We would also like to thank the CPS and the courts for recognising the seriousness of this crime which is reflected in the sentence given.

“We’re extremely pleased and relieved at the outcome as it has brought peace to the victims and protected them from further abuse.”

In a victim impact statement, his grandfather said he was scared to say no to Tilden, describing his home life as like being “under siege” due to constant visits.

From 2013 onwards Tilden would frequently visit his grandparents’ house and lie to them to coerce them into handing over money.

He claimed he needed the cash for a new car or prescriptions, and on one occasion said it was for private cancer treatment.

At first, he took his vulnerable grandfather to a bank to withdraw thousands of pounds at a time.

The bank put a stop to this, leading Tilden to coerce his grandfather into obtaining cashback at supermarkets, before then asking to meet him at cashpoints to make withdrawals.

Tilden was arrested in November last year and bailed while enquiries continued.

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During this time, police say he repeatedly broke conditions requiring him not to visit his grandparents.

He was then rearrested and charged with controlling or coercive behaviour in an intimate or family relationship under section 76 of the Serious Crime Act.

Tilden’s conviction comes after a lengthy police investigation.

PC Hardwidge added: “This was a complex investigation which the Devizes Neighbourhood Policing Team worked on for three years.

“It was through partnership working with medical professionals, adult social care, banks, and local shops that we were able to gather the evidence required and safeguard the victims.”

Tilden was also fined and given a 10-year restraining order.