A SERIAL fraudster jailed for four years after making £100,000 stealing people's identities was up to his old tricks just days after being released.

Kevin Castle, 49, conned more victims out of cash through a series of scams when out of prison on licence last year.

Taunton Crown Court heard how Castle, who funded his lavish lifestyle while living in West Buckland, produced fake cheques to pay for hire cars and accommodation to move away when he was released.

He admitted 13 offences in total, including fraud and theft of mail to steal victims' identities and obtain credit cards in their names.

Jailing Castle for a further four years today (April 9), Recorder Peter Towler said he “strung along” several victims.

Recorder Towler added: “I have no doubt whatsoever this case crosses the custody threshold. I cannot ignore your quite horrendous record of dishonesty.

“Although the total sum [made] is just over £5,000, in my view this is a far more serious matter [than the previous offences].”

Prosecuting, Janice Eagles told how Castle rented a car from Welsh Car Hire in Taunton the day after being released from Exeter prison - where he was jailed in April 2012 - last July.

After paying initially, he duped owners when trying to pay with a false cheque to extend the hire.

He gave a false address, which led to a B&B in Bristol where he was staying. It emerged Castle also conned the accommodation owner using the same method, Ms Eagles said.

The court was told Castle hired another car, an Audi, from a different firm and tried to pay using a fake business card he set up in somebody else's name.

It was said Castle would do this by stealing victims' identities from post boxes and follow postal vans.

His luck ran out in January this year when wanted signs were circulated and his vehicle was picked up on a police camera.

Defending, Tristan Harwood said Castle made “frank and full admissions” when arrested.

He added: “He works hard in prison and is a trusted prisoner. He seems well-liked.”

Castle must also pay £120 victim surcharge.