Cowboy builders from Redcar have admitted they conned elderly people out of £150,000.

A gang of cowboy builders has admitted conning elderly people out of over £150,000 for needless and shoddy work on their homes.

The gang, from Redcar, consisted of Allan Phillips, 45 of Queen Street, John Richards, 51 of Britannia Place and George Chaffer, 45, of Oliver Street.

The gang pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud at Teeside Crown Court and are likely to be sentenced next week.

Their victims, in Teeside and North Yorkshire, included a 70-year-old man who was left penniless after the gang took £58,000 from him over a period of months.

Meanwhile building kitemark scheme Trustmark signed up its first eight approved firms.

The National Register of Warranted Builders, the Heating and Ventilating Contractors’ Association, the National Federation of Roofing Contractors, the Glass and Glazing federation, the British Wood Preserving and Damp-proofing Association, the National Association of Professional Inspectors and Testers, the European Fencing Industry Association and vetting body AJA Registrars signed up to the scheme on 31 October.