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Conman roofer is jailed
A Bradford roofer who “pressurised” elderly people into having building work done at “vastly inflated prices” has been jailed for 12 months.
Andrew Roberton, 36, of Alred Court, East Bowling – who trades under the company name SAS Roofline – was sent to prison by magistrates after he admitted offences under the Fraud Act at a previous hearing.
According to West Yorkshire Trading Standards he “repeatedly targeted elderly and vulnerable people” throughout Yorkshire and the Humber. They said he often cold-called his victims, pressurising them into having often unnecessary building work done, at vastly inflated prices.
He persuaded people to sign up by telling them they could claim Government grants for the work or that gutters and pipes contained dangerous asbestos, the organisation said.
One pensioner, who was living with the effects of a stroke, agreed to let Roberton replaced her gutters, fearing she and her granddaughter were in immediate danger. Roberton had persuaded 67-year-old Irene Brogdon to let him carry out the work only six weeks after he gave an assurance to Trading Standards officers that he would trade fairly. She cancelled the £2,300 cheque before it was cashed.
Colin Rumford, of the Yorkshire and the Humber Scambuster Team, said: “Roberton would tell his victims anything to take their money.
“He was warned what the consequences of obtaining business under false pretences would be, but he carried on regardless. The team is determined to prevent the most vulnerable in our society being made easy targets for unscrupulous criminals.”
A spokesman for West Yorkshire Police said those who preyed on vulnerable people for financial gain would quickly find themselves before the courts.
“This is a heartless offence which can cause considerable distress for the victim,” he added.
The Telegraph & Argus With Respect campaign is aimed at winning more respect and dignity for elderly.
Bradford and District Older People’s Alliance chairman Jean Walker, who is supporting the campaign, welcomed the punishment meted out to Roberton.
She said: “More of these people should be jailed. They are preying on people that are looking for help and support.”
Anyone who thinks they have been a victim of unfair trading practices or knows anyone who has been exploited by a rogue trader is asked to phone 08454 040506.