A ROGUE roofer who tried to con a vulnerable pensioner into paying for repairs she did not need has been slapped with a prison sentence.
Conman Terry Tyers, 29, targeted an 89-year-old woman and told her if her roof wasn’t repaired quickly, it would be in danger of leaking.
Tyers, of Tristram Avenue, Hartlepool, initially offered to fix leaking gutters at the address in Billingham for £140, but eventually charged £180.
The victim, who lives in a No Cold Calling Zone, had second thoughts after agreeing to have the work done and called her local councillor who in turn informed Stockton Borough Council’s trading standards officers.
They arrived at the address to apprehend Tyers just as he was leaving the property with the £180 payment.
Teesside Crown Court heard Tyers, who traded as North East Roofing, ripped up the cheque and it later emerged the “work” he had carried out had in fact caused £520 worth of damage.
Tyers opted for a crown court trial and, when he failed to surrender, he was arrested on a warrant and held in custody until his trial.
He eventually pleaded guilty to three offences brought by Stockton Council under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 for failing to give notice of cancellation rights, overcharging and reckless commercial practices.
The offences were described as “mean and miserable” though his guilty plea was taken into account which meant the victim would not have to attend court.
He was given a custodial sentence of 86 days for the offences. But as he had already been remanded in custody for 43 days, this was reduced to time already served and he was released immediately.
He was ordered to pay £520 compensation to his victim and £1,000 towards prosecution costs.
Councillor Steve Nelson, Stockton Council’s cabinet member for housing and community safety, said: “This is a great example of how trading standards officers can protect residents targeted by rogue traders.
“The council promotes No Cold Calling Zones to dissuade traders from calling on vulnerable or older people in their homes. Where businesses ignore the wishes of residents who have voted in favour of a zone, officers respond immediately.
“I have no doubt this man would have got away with overcharging this elderly resident had officers not intervened.”