Cowboys frightened dozens of vulnerable people into paying thousands of pounds for unnecessary work
Three rogue builders have been jailed in Kent after conning 43 people out of £880,000.
Canterbury crown court heard that Tim Killick and William Smith and son Billy preyed on elderly and vulnerable victims before tricking them into paying for unnecessary building work.
The men climbed onto roofs to damage tiles before warning residents that their homes would be condemned unless they paid for costly repairs.
In one incident they claimed £16,000 for repair work from an elderly couple before reducing the sum to £3,500 as a “special offer”. A surveyor found that the work was actually worth about £50.
The group sought out elderly and vulnerable people and exploited them in the most shocking way, using scare tactics
Det Sgt Tristan Kluibenschadl
A fourth man, Mark Baker, was convicted in his absence and is on the run. William Smith was sentenced to eight years in prison, while his son was handed a 30-month term and Killick given a four-year sentence.
Investigating officer Det Sgt Tristan Kluibenschadl told the BBC: “The group sought out elderly and vulnerable people and exploited them in the most shocking way, using scare tactics to ensure they parted with their life savings in many cases.
“They were organised and cunning men who, without any due respect for those people who had the misfortune to have been paid a visit by them, built up a weighty fortune through their trickery and lies, with the audacity to continue their activities even after arrest.
“The advice is to not use builders who cold-call. Use reputable firms with a proven track record.”