A group of eight roofers have been sentenced for a total of almost 18 years following a series of cons that cost vulnerable residents tens of thousands of pounds.
The rogue roofers targeted elderly people across the North East by cold-calling residences between July 2016 and January 2017, including a York resident who paid £9,500 for roof repairs that were “entirely unnecessary”.
The York resident then attempted to withdraw another £9,500 for the fraudulent roofers – and was only stopped when the bank refused to authorise the withdrawal, fearing he was being scammed.
Another victim was told they would fix his roof in exchange for “a tenner and a drink for the lads”.
The man in his 70s from Thornaby, Stockton, was then quoted £5,000, however he ended up paying the group £18,500.
Preying on the vulnerable
Other victims included an 89-year-old man from North Yorkshire and a 91-yeard-old man from Gateshead, who paid £17,000 and £11,000 respectively for the poor quality and unnecessary roof work.
The group also targeted a male from Pocklington, who has since passed away.
The men who were sentenced at Teesside Crown Court included:
- William Stewart, 23, of Elvington, York – jailed for two years and nine months
- Andrew Hardy, 32, of Tyne Dock, South Tyneside – jailed for three years and three months
- father and son Paul and James Masterton, aged 67 and 35, of Walnut Place, Newcastle – each given a one-year community order with 250 hours’ unpaid work and a six-month tagged curfew
- George Flannigan, 25 of Milnathort, Kinross – jailed for three years and 11 months
- Graham Thom, 27 of Turriff, Aberdeenshire – jailed for 21 months
It is extremely cruel for rogue traders and criminal groups to prey upon vulnerable members of the community for their own financial gain.
This is not something that we will tolerate and, as this prosecution shows, we will investigate rogue traders and bring them to justice.
If you think someone you know is being targeted by rogue traders contact Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 03454 04 05 06.