Rogue trader duo jailed over conning pensioners

Two men who ran a firm that conned consumers into unnecessary home improvement work have been jailed and disqualified from being company directors.
Burnley Crown CourtBurnley Crown Court
Burnley Crown Court

Director Thomas Carter, 21, of Great Park Drive, Leyland, and company ABC Home Improvements pleaded guilty to three unfair trading offences, while disqualified company director, Neil Parr, 41, of Capesthorne Drive, Chorley, was found guilty after a trial.

Lancashire County Council's Trading Standards department prosecuted the pair after receiving complaints from several consumers.

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Parr was jailed for 15 months and Carter for eight during a hearing at Burnley Crown Court, after Parr had called Carter to give evidence at his trial that he alone was solely responsible for all of the offences and Parr was not involved in the running of the business - which magistrates rejected.

Recorder Simon Medland QC said the actions were “bogus and fraudulent and targeted at elderly and vulnerable to extract as much money as possible.”

He added: “ Older and vulnerable people need to know they have the protection of the law.”

Prosecuting Claire Larton said: “On each occasion initial contact was made with the complainants by cold calling, usually by Thomas Carter.”

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An 89-year-old man had agreed to pay £3,000 for a resin driveway and handed over a £1,200 deposit. He heard nothing, but after repeatedly calling someone came to ‘measure up’ at his home.

After further unanswered calls a relative visited the address and found it was bogus.

A man in his 80s agreed to have plastering done for £600 and gave a £300 deposit. After seven weeks then Parr and Carter attended his home knocking off the old plaster from the garage walls. They told him it was a much bigger job than estimated and that they needed another £1,000. No further work was done.

A retired lady agreed to £300 work and paid a £150 deposit for work that was never done.

Both were disqualified as directors for 10 years and must pay a total of £2,350 compensation.