£13,600 roof repair fraudster told to compensate elderly victim

John Watson also received on October 16 from an Oxford Crown Court judge a four-month custodial sentence, suspended for 18 months, for targeting his 72-year-old victim.

Watson, 39, claimed on February 6 last year that felt on the Oakfield Road householder's roof needed mending.

A jury at Watson's trial was told that a surveyor who subsequently inspected his work on the property had concluded that none of it was required.

Cheque was cancelled

The victim had given Watson, of Bedmond Road, Abbotts Langley, Hertfordshire, a £13,600 cheque, which was cancelled before it was cashed.

Watson was found on August 22 guilty of fraud and a commercial practice charge relating to him stating that the roof felt needed replacing.

He was acquitted of three other charges which related to commercial practice, following a five-day trial.

Unacceptable behaviour

Anu Prashar, from Oxfordshire County Council's Trading Standards team, who prosecuted Watson, said: "Watson tried to prey on an elderly person for thousands of pounds for work that was not required - I am pleased that the judge recognised the severity of his offences by imposing the sentence that he did and by ordering Watson to pay compensation.

"It is simply not acceptable to try and con people and this case just shows the lengths unscrupulous traders like Watson will try to go to when attempting to obtain money dishonestly."

Buy With Confidence scheme

Councillor Rodney Rose, the Deputy Leader of Oxfordshire County Council who has Cabinet responsibility for Trading Standards, added: "This is yet another excellent result for Oxfordshire County Council's Trading Standards team. I hope this case and the sentence given acts as a deterrent to anybody else who might be thinking of trying to con residents out of money in Oxfordshire.

"The county council has the Buy With Confidence Scheme, which is a list of reputable businesses which our Trading Standards team have checked and have approved. My advice is that people should consult this list so they can find a company that has been carefully vetted to ensure that they are honest and reputable."

Click here for more information about Buy with Confidence.

Watson was also ordered to pay £5,500 costs and a £80 victim surcharge.