A ‘CALLOUS’ businessman swindled two ‘vulnerable’ pensioners out of more than £67,000, a court has heard.

Former Poole Tourism boss Patrick Baker allegedly told his ‘victims’ he needed the money as he was defaulting on his mortgage and was worried the bailiffs were going to seize his home.

The 64-year-old promised to repay them as he had two “big business deals” coming in which would produce a “life changing’” amount of money, a jury at Bournemouth Crown Court was told.

But it was alleged that neither of those who had loaned him money received a penny back.

Baker secured several loans worth a total of £47,500 from the first complainant, a close friend of his ex-wife, between February 2014 and July 2015, it was heard.

The court also heard he then extracted a one-off £20,000 cheque from the second complainant in November 2015.

On both occasions, he begged both of the women not to tell his then-wife about the loans so as not to ‘alarm’ her, it was claimed.

Stuart Ellacott, prosecuting, said Baker had set up two businesses – Scorpius PR Ltd and In House Team – but there was no evidence of them either trading or generating income.

The prosecutor alleged that, in order to keep up the facade of a successful businessman, Baker spent hundreds of pounds going to the Goodwood Festival of Speed, while also forking out £221 at a fine dining restaurant.

Mr Ellacott said: “He was the director of Scorpius PR Ltd and the sole proprietor of In House Team, which employed four staff during the relevant period.

“They appear to have been paid from the defendant’s bank account with funds supplied by his parents.

“He told his victims he was about to receive funds from a big impending business deal, maintaining this story when going back to ask for further loans.

“When he was asked about repayment he said a big deal was still immanent with a life-changing amount of money.”

“The prosecution’s case is there was never going to be any big deal coming to fruition, as it seems accepted by the defendant neither of his enterprises had ever traded or generated income.

“He was maintaining the facade of a successful businessman and he rather callously took advantage of two ladies who he knew.

Baker, of Ashburton, Devon, denies two counts of fraud.

The trial continues.