Cowboy builder jailed after bid to con elderly St Albans resident

PUBLISHED: 12:32 04 October 2009 | UPDATED: 14:30 06 May 2010

A ROGUE builder who tried to con an elderly woman out of hundreds of pounds has been jailed for 21 months. Tom Beaney and his accomplice Daniel Frame turned up at the woman s home in Leyland Avenue, St Albans, in February and tried to convince her there w

A ROGUE builder who tried to con an elderly woman out of hundreds of pounds has been jailed for 21 months.

Tom Beaney and his accomplice Daniel Frame turned up at the woman's home in Leyland Avenue, St Albans, in February and tried to convince her there was a problem with her roof tiles - even though there was nothing wrong with them.

Beaney, 48, of Barley Mow Caravan Site in Tyttenhanger, told her that for £720 he could repair the roof and promptly set about carrying out the so-called repairs. But he didn't bank on the pensioner making contact with police who arrived at the house as work was going on.

Dishonest

Beaney and Frame, 28, of Marshalls Avenue, St Albans, appeared for sentence at St Albans Crown Court on Monday after being convicted in August of dishonestly making a false representation.

Frame, who also admitted charges of burglary and asked for 181 other offences to be taken into consideration, was granted bail with a curfew to see if he was suitable to go on the Choices and Consequences programme which is aimed at steering persistent offenders away from a life of crime.

Edward Lewis, prosecuting, said that on February 10 the elderly victim had answered a knock on the door, only to find Beaney and Frame pointing out some broken tiles on the ground which they said had fallen from her roof.

She looked at the roof and could see two small holes which she knew had not been there the day before.

Beaney gave the woman his card and said he could fix the roof for her for £800 before offering to do a deal and lowering the price to £720.

Although the woman told him she thought it was expensive, Beaney set about organising the repairs, driving off to get supplies and leaving Frame with a ladder to get up on to the roof.

Mr Lewis said the woman decided to ring a friend about the pair who in turn advised her to contact police.

She did just that and the officers arrived to find Frame on the roof. Not long afterwards Beaney showed up and tried to make out he was charging the woman £175 and not £720.

Judge Michael Baker was told Beaney had previous convictions including one for an almost identical offence in which he got a woman to pay him over £19,000 for roof work worth no more than £250. For that he had been to prison for four and a half years in early 2006.

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