A rogue trader from Chester who scammed an elderly woman out of £15,960 for work that was never completed on her property has been jailed.
Alexander Emslie, of Birchmuir, Chester was sentenced on Monday 6 December to two years imprisonment at Chester Crown Court.
The 60-year-old pleaded guilty to one count of fraud by false representation at an earlier hearing.
Between 11 July and 14 August 2020, Emslie repeatedly targeted an elderly female at her home in Christleton, purporting to carry out extensive remedial work to the roof but only removed a small amount of ivy from the side of her property.
Emslie even drove the victim to a cash machine and to the bank to withdraw money on a number of occasions.
The fraudulent activity only came to light when the victim’s daughter found several handwritten receipts relating to work at the address, all signed by different aliases, and then reported the activity to Cheshire Police.
Residents also had concerns and reported the work to the council as they had spotted that ivy from the property had been fly-tipped nearby.
The victim later positively identified Emslie as the man who had carried out work on the property.
A chartered surveyor was instructed to evaluate the extent of the work. It was found that if the work to the roof had been completed to a good standard the expected price would be in the region of £8,460 – not the £15,960 the victim had paid out.
In fact, the report stated that very little work had been completed and of this work, it is estimated to have cost the victim around £860.
Emslie was subsequently arrested and charged with fraud by false representation.
Detective Constable Karina Monks, who led the investigation, said, “Rogue traders have no regard for their victims and only think of their financial gain.
“They tend to target the most vulnerable people in communities, often going door to door and will offer a service such as cleaning gutters, fixing the roof or cutting down trees and then will deliberately overcharge for the work – which is of a poor standard and is not backed by any guarantee.
“Residents are strongly urged to use registered approved tradesmen and complete due diligence checks before allowing any work to start.
“I hope that this case will help prevent others from falling foul of rogue traders and raise awareness on how to spot the signs.
“I welcome the sentence passed down by the courts to Emslie and hope that this shows that there is no place for rogue traders in Cheshire.”
Anyone who believes that they have been a victim of a rogue trader is urged to contact Cheshire Police on 101, give the details via the Cheshire Police website or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.