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Cowboy roofer jailed but escapes paying victims

Staffordshire | News | Published:

A cowboy roofer who left his victims more than £10,500 out of pocket has been jailed – but will not have to pay a penny in compensation.

A cowboy roofer who left his victims more than £10,500 out of pocket has been jailed – but will not have to pay a penny in compensation.

Steven Bettles duped homeowners, including one in Rugeley, and a children's centre into forking out thousands of pounds for fibreglass roofing, which leaked almost immediately.

He was sentenced to 20 weeks behind bars at Wolverhampton Magistrates Court.

District Judge Michael Wheeler said it would be "meaningless" to order compensation be paid as 57-year-old Bettles, from Wolverhampton, is on benefits, had no savings and did not own a house or a car.

"You may not have been dealing with vulnerable people, but they were decent, hard-working people who deserve better," he told Bettles.

"No doubt in recent weeks you have been described as a cowboy, and I cannot think that is anything other than a valid description."

Between March 2009 and May 2010, Bettles carried out work at homes in Bhylls Lane, Merry Hill; Hilary Drive, Merry Hill; and in St Michael's Road, Rugeley, with homeowners handing over about £3,000 in total.

His most destructive work was at the Windmill Lane Children's Centre, opposite his home in Windmill Lane, Castlecroft, which was rendered unusable because of leaks which sprung in the roof following his work - which he had charged them around £7,500 to complete.

Bettles had previously admitted a variety of offences, including nine allegations of unfair trading, while an undischarged bankrupt.

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