A ROGUE roofer and property maintenance trader has been handed a 24 week prison sentence after making fraudulent representations and engaging in “aggressive” practices to an elderly South Cumbrian householder.

When he appeared at Preston Crown Court for sentencing on Friday, Jay Barry Price, 21, trading as P & T Property Maintenance, Pinfold Lane, Lancaster, admitted four charges fraud and of engaging as a trader in a commercial practice which was aggressive

Court papers reveal he tried to persuade a householder in his 80s, who lives alone, to proceed with building work when it was clear he did not want to.

After no more than four hours work the elderly gentleman was presented with a bill for £4,100. The householder told Price he could not afford this. Price pressurised the elderly gentleman into paying. An independent surveyor valued the work at no more than £50.

Price admitted to being "aggressive" towards his victim; and being "very pushy" in getting the householder to eventually agree to fitting new splash boards to prevent damp and replacing damaged roof tiles.

Price also admitted four charges of fraud by false representation. These charges reveal he purportedly provided the victim with a document to sign and agree building work and prices.

But, by signing this document, the victim was "actually purportedly waiving" his legal rights to cancel the contract. Price also presented the victim with a bill for £4,100 for work which had never been completed.

Cllr Celia Tibble, Cumbria County Council’s Cabinet Member for Trading Standards, said: “This case should act as a warning to others. I am delighted to see that justice has been served for the aggressive and deceitful practices that this criminal pursued.

"The actions of rogue traders can have a significant financial and emotional impact on consumers, particularly the most vulnerable members of our communities. This result is testament to the hard work of the council’s trading standards officers.

"Due to the nature of these crimes Cumbria Trading Standards treat this work as a priority and work with partner agencies such as Cumbria Police to help raise awareness and tackle potential offenders."

*If anyone thinks they have been a victim of a rogue trader can contact Trading Standards on 03454 04 05 06.