No jail for cowboy roofer who targeted pensioner with £4,800 scam
A dishonest workman tried to con an elderly woman living alone into paying £4,800 for a new roof she did not need, a judge heard.
Billy Rogers cold–called at the 76-year-old's address in Halesowen while looking for work and delivering leaflets advertising his business, Wolverhampton Crown Court was told.
She answered the door and told the 55-year-old she thought the gables on her house needed some attention, revealed Mr Mark Jackson, prosecuting.
Rogers gave her a £400 quote during the visit on March 10 2017 and the next morning arrived with three other men who climbed onto the roof.
Shortly afterwards he showed her a piece of spongy, rotten wood, which the prosecution suggested he might have brought with him, and claimed it showed she needed a new roof costing £4,800.
"She was shocked but trusted what she was told by the defendant," said Mr Jackson who continued: "He did not put up any scaffolding because he wanted to start as soon as possible so she would not have time to take advice and get other quotes."
When her daughter heard what had happened she alerted police and trading standards officials who both arrived on March 13 to order the men off the job.
The defendant had known the roof did not need replacing, said the prosecutor who added: "Some of the work that had been completed had to be removed and started again. Unnecessary work was carried out incompetently."
Mr Adrian Harris, defending, maintained: "There was a legitimate need for some of the work but it was exaggerated."
Since then the woman has had to pay £7,799 to have the bodged roof replaced by a competent firm, the court was told.
Rogers from Hill Street, Essington, who was of previous good character and looks after an adult, disabled son, admitted fraud by false representation and trading irregularities.
Judge Simon Ward told him: "The public take a dim view of people like you, who go around telling elderly people they need a new roof when they don't, and like judges to send them to prison.
"You are generally an honest roofer in that you provide paperwork and use your proper name. You took advantage of the woman but did not deliberately target her, have no previous convictions and have a dependant, disabled son.
"If I sent you to prison your son would suffer and you would not be able to pay compensation to the victim who took two years to get over the emotional damage you caused."
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