An Irishman has been jailed in the UK for scamming three Welsh farmers out of more than £40,000 (€44,000).

According to WalesOnline, Jimmy Connors, (44) who lives in Carmarthenshire in south-west Wales, had been selling farm equipment to two of the victims for a number of years. These two farmers – who were brothers – were conned out of £37,000 (€40,700) between them, losing a substantial portion of their savings.

At one point, he told them that a lorry containing a new quad bike had been impounded, and that he needed money to have it released.

Associates of Connors then told the farmers that he had been arrested and needed to be bailed out, resulting in more money changing hands.

A third farmer lost £4,000 (€4,400) through the same scam, but when he was asked for even more money, he sought advice from his bank, which resulted in the police being alerted.

When he was arrested at a ferry port in Lancashire, England, Connors said that he needed the money to pay for his sister’s wedding in Ireland.

He was also part of a gang that had scammed farmers around England out of a total of £500,000 (€550,000), WalesOnline reports.

Connors had targeted victims in south-west Wales whom his family business had worked with for several years.

At Exeter Crown Court in south-west England, Connors admitted two counts of conspiracy to defraud, and was jailed for 20 months at a court sitting last week.

His cousin, Luke Connors, of Co. Wexford, and two other associates, were also convicted and will be sentenced in January.

Judge Peter Johnson told Connors that the two brothers “had done business with you and your parents for 30 years and trusted you as a friend. They have a modest sheep farm which was viable and they were keeping their heads above water”.

You were an essential part of the conspiracy because you were trusted by them and were able to get your foot in the door and spin the yarn about the lorry.

“You knew this was a thoroughly dishonest enterprise from the outset,” the judge added.

The prosecuting lawyer had highlighted that Connors’ parents had run a “genuine business” importing farm equipment from Ireland before he took it over, while the defence for Connors said that he was “a small part of a wider conspiracy”.