Jailed trader's caravans and van will be sold to compensate victims

A notorious rogue roofer who tricked an 88-year-old widow recovering from breast cancer has been ordered to pay back some of his ill gotten gains.

The way one property was left after the victim agreed to work
The way one property was left after the victim agreed to work

Residents across Leyland, Walton-le-Dale, Clayton Brook and Southport fell victim to Steven Lee, 32, of Rosemary Lane, Bartle, Preston, who traded as Trade Mark Roofing Specialists.

He admitted a string of offences and in April was given a 40-month jail term - the longest ever secured by Lancashire Trading Standards.

Now the law has caught up with him again as he faces selling his workvan and two caravans to pay a £9,900 confiscation order, which will be used to compensate victims.

Judge Simon Newell, sitting at the Sessions House Court, deemed he had benefitted to the tune of £103,820, but it was found at present he only has limited assets available to s due to his jail term.

But Proceeds of Crime legislation means any future wealth can be revisited.

A court previously heard Lee’s offences involved unnecessary, grossly over-charged and poor standard work between October 2015 and August 2016. Victims were charged tens of thousands of pounds for re-roofing when the most that was needed were minor repairs.

He swindled around £60,000 from his victims, including £12,000 for roof work from grandmother Elizabeth Hollyoake, who was recovering from a mastectomy when Lee targeted her son - and then her - by claiming they had “rotten roofs.”

The mum-of-three, who has been a widow for 22 years, had to use her savings after he kept increasing the total for the work at her bungalow.

Lee admitted being party to a business that was carried out for a fraudulent purpose, and had previously hit the headlines in 2013 when he and his father charged £15,000 for roofing work which was of very poor quality.

On that occasion he was convicted of failing to give consumers notice of cancellation rights and engaging in unfair commercial practice.

Steven Lee Senior, of the same address, was jailed for 18 months after admitting knowingly participating in a fraudulent business.