Building boss jailed for conning pensioner out of £150k

Grant Prior 7 years ago

The director of a building company that conned an 87 year old man out of nearly £150,000 has been sentenced to three years in jail

Robert Stewart,21, sole director of Abbey Roofing and Building Services, was imprisoned at Edinburgh Sheriff Court yesterday.

The court heard that in December 2015, an unidentified man cold called at the victim’s Edinburgh home and offered to repair a damaged TV aerial.

The homeowner agreed to the repair and a few days later a number of men returned to the property and completed the work on the aerial.

They then advised that further work was required on loose tiles and the victim agreed.

After a short time on the roof they informed the homeowner that significant further repairs were required

By March 2016 the 87-year-old had been persuaded to have major, mostly unnecessary, work carried out on his property and he had been charged a total of more than £147,000.

The money was paid into a business account opened by Robert Stewart.

Independent surveyors who later evaluated the repairs noted that the absolute upper value would have been twenty five to thirty thousand pounds and that some of the work was sub-standard  and would cost several thousand pounds to rectify.

Speaking following sentencing today, Andrew Richardson Procurator Fiscal, Lothian and Borders, said: “We know that offences of this nature can have a devastating effect on victims who are often targeted because of their age.

“There is no shame attached to becoming a victim of highly organised criminals.

“If you are approached by anyone offering to do such work, or notice a friend, family member or neighbour in such circumstances please be vigilant and do not allow these people to take advantage.

“As this demonstrates we can and will disrupt the activities of these bogus workmen who deliberately target elderly householders and convince them they require urgent, costly and wholly unnecessary work to be carried out.

“The Crown has a prosecution policy focussed on tackling crimes against older people and working together with Police we will ensure that when these cases are reported to us, those responsible are prosecuted and pay for the consequences of their actions.”


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