Cowboy builder jailed for conning pensioner

A FRAUDULENT builder who fleeced an elderly man will spend 12 months in prison.

Andrew Roberton, 37, conned the 85-year-old, who suffers from short term memory problems, out of £9,160.

The funds were for four building jobs that experts later found didn’t need doing, were done to a very poor standard or overcharged for the work carried out.

Roberton’s offending was only discovered when a neighbour alerted the elderly man’s family members.

They saw Roberton leaving the home of the man on Saddleworth Road, Greetland, on November 19, 2010.

They immediately called his stepson who looked into dealings and found at least one cheque was missing from his stepfather’s chequebook.

Bradford Crown Court heard that the transactions took place over a two month period in 2010.

On October 22, Roberton took £260 then, just four days later, on October 26, he took a further payment for £1,900.

Then on November 2, Roberton took two more payments from the pensioner for £3,000 and £4,000.

The court heard that three of the cheques had not been signed and Roberton had kept one of them to possibly cash at a later date.

One of the instances higlighted in court saw Roberton charge for fitting 15 new windows that were never actually fitted.

He also replaced guttering that had only been fitted a month earlier.

Roberton pleaded guilty to five charges of fraud and told the court that he would like to pay compensation to his elderly victim.

Recorder David Bradshaw, sentencing, said: “This is a particularly mean offence.

“You targeted, on a number of occasions, an 85-year-old man to the extent that he paid you £9,000.

“You showed no regret at the time. You were pretending to do work that was never done, didn’t need doing or didn’t need doing.”

He was jailed for 12 months and a Proceeds of Crime hearing will be held on June 11 to sieze any proceeds from the criminal activity.