Nuneaton fraudster jailed for carrying out unnecessary property repairs

A roofer who targeted elderly and vulnerable people, charging thousands of pounds for work that often did not need carrying out, has been jailed.

Patrick Christopher Dunne, 20, of Griff Park Travellers’ Site, Nuneaton, Warwickshire, was sentenced to two years and nine months at York Crown Court today (Friday, 21 June) after pleading guilty to 34 counts of fraud and consumer protection offences.

The prosecution was brought by North Yorkshire’s Trading Standards team with the support of National Trading Standards and Warwickshire Trading Standards.

Officers identified numerous victims in North Yorkshire and the West Midlands who had been visited by Dunne between February 2017 and May 2018.

The court heard he would offer to carry out inexpensive quick fixes at properties and then inform the householders he had “discovered” further problems. This additional work cost significantly more money, sometimes running into thousands of pounds.

He was prosecuted in relation to 17 victims, including a number of elderly and vulnerable people.

Dunne also received a Criminal Behaviour Order, banning him from cold calling for five years on his release from prison.

Warwickshire County Councillor Andy Crump, Portfolio Holder for Community Safety said:

“I’m delighted that our Trading Standards team was able to assist in the successful prosecution of this rogue trader, protecting consumers in Warwickshire and across the UK.”

Sentencing Dunne, the Recorder of York Judge Sean Morris said:

“In my view, you embarked on a deliberate course of conduct, targeting elderly and vulnerable people to make money for yourself.”

“Some have been affected financially, some are fearful that somebody will come back and others are disgusted at themselves for no good reason.

“How you live with yourself I do not know. These courts will protect the elderly and vulnerable. When people are brought to book, and it’s expensive to do so for this kind of offence, the proper punishment must be seen to be handed out.

“This has to be looked at as a campaign of targeting elderly people.”

The judge added:

“This was another well investigated case by Trading Standards and they are doing a good job.”

Warwickshire Trading Standards Doorstep Crime Advice

  • Doorstep rogue traders will often call unexpectedly, offering services or goods that you hadn’t asked for.
  • They will offer to carry out work on your property or sell you a product, at what seems like a reasonable price. In reality, they are looking to trick you out of your money.
  • You shouldn’t feel pressured to accept any work or service you don’t want. It’s your home and your right to say ‘no’.
  • You can’t tell a good trader from a bad one on the doorstep. We advise you don’t buy from unexpected callers. Keep your door closed.
  • Warwickshire Trading Standards have teamed up with ‘No Rogue Traders Here’ to provide residents with Trading Standards approved tradespeople. For more information visit: www.warwickshire.gov.uk/approvedtraders or phone 0800 233 5000.
  • Subscribe to Warwickshire Trading standards rogue trader and scam email alerts: www.warwickshire.gov.uk/scams
  • To make a consumer complaint or report a rogue trader, contact Trading Standards can via the Citizen’s Advice Consumer Service on 03454 04 05 06