St Albans roofer jailed for fraud after targeting vulnerable residents

PUBLISHED: 19:00 26 November 2018

A St Albans roofer has been sentenced to 27 months in prison for fraud.

A St Albans roofer has been sentenced to 27 months in prison for fraud.

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A roofer from St Albans has been jailed for targeting vulnerable residents and demanding thousands of pounds for non-essential work.

Simon Dooley, 53, of Watling Street Caravan Park in St Albans, pleaded guilty to fraudulent trading when he appeared at court earlier this month.

At Dooley’s sentencing on Thursday, November 22, the court heard that he had traded under the name ‘Elite Roofing and Building’ and, along with those working with him, cold called consumers who were vulnerable due to their age or health.

The fraudulent roofers would identify a small piece of work that supposedly needing doing, before swiftly identifying further, far more extensive and expensive work.

In total, Dooley received just over £6,000 from seven of the people he targeted, with £11,170 requested in total.

Judge Peter Rook QC noted that Dooley had shown remorse and taken responsibility for his actions, and that he is not in good health himself.

However he added that Dooley’s actions were intimidating, demeaning and inappropriate and that they caused embarrassment and mental anguish to his victims.

Dooley had appeared before the court on 31 previous occasions, resulting in convictions for 59 offences.

He was sentenced to 27 months in prison and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £170.

Cllr Terry Hone, cabinet member for community safety, said: “Customers should be able to trust companies, rather than have them take advantage of them.

“The defendant showed a cunning disregard for the people he was trying to get work from, and we will not hesitate to take action in cases such as these.”

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I should probably have taken the hint! Walking out into the garden recently an unprecedented flock of thirty or more crows raucously greeted me from the treetops at the bottom of my garden. Cawing and croaking these big, black birds clung clumsily to the top most branches and twigs, jostling and flapping to stay balanced in a constant flurry of feathers. There is always something ominous about crows – they are after all carrion crows, the vultures of the bird world – always watching for scraps and weakness that might mean their next meal.

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