A CON artist who scammed vulnerable people out of more than £122,000 has been jailed for six years.

Sacha Dixey tricked his victims into buying heating products by telling them they would get money back from the Government for installing the energy-saving heating equipment.

But in fact his companies, Nationwide Home Renewables Ltd and Future Homes Energy Ltd, were not registered for the Government’s incentive scheme, meaning his customers never saw a penny.

The 39-year-old of Mayfield Close, Bognor, got victims around the country, including a 77-year-old blind man from Pagham, to hand over a total of £122,599.

He used the money to buy holidays and expensive gifts.

Prosecutor Gemma White told Hove Crown Court that in some cases, Dixey simply walked away with deposits and did not provide the equipment, leaving victims feeling “betrayed” and “stressed”.

In other cases, Dixey had the equipment installed but disappeared when customers realised they would not see any return.

His actions were branded as “despicable acts of dishonesty” by Judge Anthony Niblett when sentencing him yesterday.

In total, Dixey was hauled before the courts on 31 separate counts of fraud, to which he pleaded guilty.

He received a number of prison sentences for different counts, which will run at the same time while he is behind bars.

He received four years in prison for one of the counts, relating to his blind victim and in total he will serve six years. He was also ordered to pay a £900 fine.

Judge Niblett said his fraud against the blind man was “particularly cruel”, especially because Dixey had gone back to him a second time while on bail.

Judge Niblett said: “You defrauded that blind man twice. You tell me in your letter that you are disgusted at yourself and so you should be.”

Dixey had previously handed Judge Niblett 53 letters of apology written for his victims. He had offered to pay them all back but his assets were restrained.

In mitigation, Matthew Heywood said his client’s life had spiralled out of control due to drink and drugs.

Mr Heywood also said his client was “extremely remorseful” and suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder following the death of his father.

Judge Niblett added: “I note that you were in a downward spiral of drink and drugs but this cannot excuse your actions, for which you should be punished.”

West Sussex County Council’s Trading Standards team led the investigation.

Team manager Richard Sargeant, said: “Today’s sentencing marks the end of a lengthy investigation by the team and we are pleased that these sentences reflect the severity of the crimes Dixey committed.

“This is a great result, not just for West Sussex Trading Standards, but for our vulnerable consumers who were targeted by this conman. If somebody’s knocking at your door, our advice to consumers is to say no, and to consult a proper tradesman through our Buy With Confidence trader approved scheme.”