Trading Standards secure convictions against roofer who tried to con a 72-year-old

John Watson targeted his elderly victim, who lived in Oakfield Road, Carterton, Oxford Crown Court jurors were told this week.

Watson, 37, who denied five charges including fraud, claimed on 6 February last year that the felt needed replacing.

Jurors were told that a surveyor who examined Watson's subsequent work on the property said that none of it was actually required.

£13,600 cheque

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

Watson was found on Friday 22 August 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.

Vulnerable person preyed upon

Anu Prashar, a team leader in Oxfordshire County Council's Trading Standards team, said: "This case is an example of a trader preying on a vulnerable person and trying to con them out of thousands of pounds for work on a roof that was not required.

"It shows just how far some ruthless and dishonest traders will go to try and obtain money under false pretences."

Buy with Confidence

Ms Prashar added: "I am pleased that Watson was found guilty of two of the charges he faced and I hope that it 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 given conditional bail and is due to be sentenced at Oxford Crown Court on Friday 3 October.