Rogue trader conned elderly couple - court told


Tools - Credit: Archant

A ROGUE trader has been ordered to pay thousands of pounds in compensation after preying on an elderly Weston resident.

James Maguire, who was trading as Total Roofing UK, was ordered to repay £2,720 to a 91-year-old lady after pleading guilty to fraud.

He was also told to pay costs of £2,615 and carry out 60 hours of community service when he appeared before North Somerset Courthouse on March 4.

Maguire, of Moorland Park, Hewish, visited the home of two elderly Weston residents - who have since asked to remain anonymous.

The 43-year-old touted for work as a tradesman on the doorstep and quoted a price of £600 to repair a carport.

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Without providing any written quotation or cancellation rights, he carried out the job with his son.

The court was told by prosecutor Emma Anderson how Maguire tried to push the elderly lady into accepting extra jobs and did work directly against her wishes, eventually charging the couple £2,600.

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North Somerset Council’s trading standards team started an investigation after a complaint was made by a relative.

Inspectors found the work was of a very poor standard and significantly over-priced.

The court heard the surveyor’s report, which stated the work was ‘of extremely poor quality’ with ‘no care or skill in application’.

The surveyor suggested the work would amount to just £450 if it had been ‘done in a competent manner’.

Maguire accepted the facts of the case and through his solicitor admitted the work was inappropriate and apologised to the victims.

After the court case, the victim’s daughter said: “As you can imagine, I was furious when I found out that this man had defrauded and harassed my parents.

“When I reported him to trading standards, I was not optimistic that he would be caught, due to the underhand way that he operated.

“The fact that he has been caught and convicted is a testament to the hard work of trading standards and the police.

“I am very pleased that justice has been done. I hope that his conviction will show this criminal and others that older people are not easy pickings.”

Councillor Peter Bryant, North Somerset Council’s executive member for trading standards, said: “This was clearly a case of taking advantage of very elderly people for personal gain.

“I am very pleased with this result - a priority area for trading standards is protecting our vulnerable residents from rogue doorstep traders and I am also pleased the court ordered Maguire to pay the monies he has to pay in compensation and fines at £1,000 per month.

“I sincerely trust this excellent result will be a deterrent to other would-be rogue traders.”

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