Birmingham conman who preyed on elderly Hartlepool couple is jailed at Teesside Crown Court

A fraudster workman who targeted an elderly Hartlepool couple has been jailed.
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James Delaney, 43, charged the couple in their 70s £1,500 for work to their roof that was only worth £75.

He initially he told the couple they had several loose tiles, the chimney needed to be corrected and the flue needed to be removed, quoting a cost of £400.

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Delaney, 43, then advised that the guttering needed to be replaced.

Conman James Delaney has been jailed.Conman James Delaney has been jailed.
Conman James Delaney has been jailed.

The victim paid £200 upfront but the alarm was raised by a neighbour and the police were called.

It was later confirmed by an expert that the actual value of the work carried out was around £75, the flue did not need to be removed and the guttering did not need to be replaced.

Delaney, previously of St Margaret’s Road, Ward End, Birmingham, pleaded guilty to fraud, and dishonestly making a false representation at Teesside Crown Court.

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He was sentenced to 18 months in prison for the offences committed last July.

Delaney had previous convictions for similar offences against elderly people in Leicester and Northampton.

Detective Constable Marina Lee, of Hartlepool CID, said after the case: “Preying on the elderly and conning them out of large sums of money for work that does not need to be carried out is particularly cruel.

“I am pleased that Delaney has been given a custodial sentence which will prevent him from carrying out this fraudulent activity for a while.

“I would urge people to keep an eye out for elderly relatives and neighbours, and ask them to let you know if anyone approaches them directly for work to be carried out.”