6 Roof Coating Contractors Jailed
NOTTINGHAMSHIRE--Six UK roof coating contractors will spend 18 months to six and a half years in jail for scamming elderly victims across England in a case called “unprecedented and sickening.”
Reports say the contractors swindled at least 97 victims, all over age 65, out of more than £228,000 ($362,132 USD).
A week into their trial on fraud charges, they pleaded guilty and were sentenced in Nottingham Crown Court on June 12, according to the BBC.
Case documents were not immediately available for review Thursday (June 18). Authorities said there were likely more victims who have not come forward.
Tyrone Beard, 46, and Marcus Reading, 27, of Tuxford, reportedly served as the leaders of the rogue group of contractors and were sentenced to six-and-a-half years and four-and-a-half years in jail, respectively.
Mohammed Ditta, 42, of Bradford, who acted as a salesman, was sentenced to three years.
Simon Davies, 24, and Michael Sumner, 28, both of Tuxford, and Christopher Russell, 28, of Kirkby-in-Ashfield, were sentenced to 18 months in jail.
Authorities say the group targeted bungalows owned by the elderly, telling the owners that they needed various driveway improvements or roof coatings, reports relate.
The contractors operated under business names such as Tileshield Coatings and Weatherproof, Tileshield Coatings Ltd. and Nationwide Roof Coatings, according to reports, citing authorities.
“The victims were all vulnerable people who handed over considerable sums of money from their hard-earned savings for at best shoddy and at worst non-existent work,” according to councilor Glynn Gilfoyle of Notthinghamshire County Council’s community safety committee.
|Gary Houston / Wikimedia Commons|
Authorities said the men coerced elderly homeowners into paying them to apply coatings for roofs and make driveway repairs. Many times the work was not done or was substandard.
Gilfolyle told media outlets the scale of the fraud was “unprecedented and sickening.”
Victims Speak Out
The victims included 76-year-old William McBroom, of Beverley, East Yorkshire, who told the BBC that he paid the men more than £2,000 ($3,176 USD) for “moss to be removed from his roof and red insulation to be painted over it.”
However, the paint washed off in the rain and his roof leaked, the report said.
McBroom told the news outlet he was angry, adding "if someone like myself who has all his wits about him can be conned like this, there are many, many vulnerable people wide open."
Another victim told the Mirror that the men were to apply a protective coating to her roof. She had been promised by a “smartly dressed salesman” that her garden would be covered during the process.
However, during the project the men left the homeowner with a “horrible black slurry” on her plants, as well as paint splatters on her driveway and fencing.