A home improvements salesman told a jury he was highly thought of by his bosses and it would be totally out-of-character for him to fleece old and vulnerable householders.

Len Lawrence said he could earn up to £60,000 a year when working for Nottingham-based Eco Homes.

Lawrence, 49, of Bush Hill Fold, Queensbury, told Bradford Crown Court yesterday he left the company because of the long commute.

But he said his former employers rated him very highly and told the police it was totally out-of-character for him to steal from customers.

Lawrence and Stewart Marshall, 44, of Mayfield Rise, Wyke, Bradford, plead not guilty to conspiracy to burgle.

Marshall and his daughter, Paige Marshall, 20, also of Mayfield Rise, deny converting criminal property. Marshall’s partner Emma Croasdell, 38, of the same address, pleads not guilty to arranging to control criminal property.

Lawrence said he had dealings with only three of the householders the Crown allege were ripped off, and all were honest transactions.

He met Stewart Marshall when they worked for the same company and he had known him seven years.

Tom Rushbrooke, Lawrence’s lawyer, asked: “Have you ever passed any paperwork to Stewart Marshall or conspired to commit any burglary?”

Lawrence replied: “No, definitely not.”

The trial continues.