A rogue trader from Luton who swindled nearly £10,000 from a pensioner must now give his time to the community – for free.
Gavin McKendrick, 32, of Lamers Road, Luton, massively overcharged for work that was never completed and substandard.
After pleading guilty to one count of converting criminal property and one count of criminal damage he was ordered to undertake 50 hours of unpaid work and pay a victim surcharge of £100.
The offences took place in December 2014 in Henry Road, Aylesbury, when McKendrick was involved in carrying out purported building work on a property belonging to a 71-year-old man.
The victim lost £9,200 in total.
PC Matt Spenceley, Investigating Officer who is seconded to Buckinghamshire and Surrey Trading Standards, said: “I welcome this sentence that has been given to McKendrick. Thames Valley Police and Buckinghamshire and Surrey Trading Standards are committed to protecting vulnerable people and protecting the public from being victims of this type of crime.
“I would like to thank the victim for coming forward and assisting us with our enquiries in this case. In this case McKendrick has been an integral part of an enterprise that was successful in obtaining money from an elderly victim. An astonishing amount of money was taken for grossly overvalued for work that was never completed and was unbelievably below the standards that you would expect from a reputable trades person.
“I would like to remind the public that there are reputable, good and honest tradesmen who do a good job to a high standard and I would encourage people not to accept cold callers as this is where you may find yourself in the future. If you have any doubts or concerns about anyone claiming that you need work done to your property, please contact your local Trading Standards or the Police.
“Never allow yourself to be pressured into handing money over in full that is quoted for the work required as you are not obliged to do so. Always ask for references and check them, if in doubt contact your family and friends for support. If the trade’s person is asked for such credentials then if they are genuine they should not have any issue with such a request from you.”
Martin Phillips, Buckinghamshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Community Engagement and Public Health, paid tribute to the police and trading standards partnership: ‘We won’t tolerate doorstep fraudsters who prey on vulnerable and elderly people, and I hope this sends a strong message to all rogue traders that Buckinghamshire is a no-go area: if you scam our residents, we’ll work damned hard to catch you!’