Callous conman tricked elderly victim, 89, over fake roof repairs

A callous conman has been jailed for 12 months after he tricked an elderly man into handing over money for roof repairs that had not been done.

The cases were heard at Harrogate Magistrates Court.

Leeds Crown Court heard Steven Richard Wood called at the home of the 89-year-old in Otley on August 19 and told him his roof needed repairing.

Howard Shaw, prosecuting, said Wood got some ladders and went up on the roof but was only there a short time. He then asked the pensioner for payment. The victim was shaking and could not get the money out of his wallet so handed it to Wood – who took out about £150 but said he needed more.

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He handed the wallet back and said he would return later. The pensioner contacted his family to get some money for him and they were immediately suspicious.

Mr Shaw said Wood returned on August 22 around 9.15am and got a further £120 from the victim – but neighbours were watching for him and confronted him. He ran off but they took photos of a van, which was stopped the following day. Wood admitted he had been at the pensioner’s home but claimed he had done work.

A surveyor looked at the property and assessed at most two tiles might have been repositioned with a maximum charge of £25.

James Gelsthorpe, mitigating, said any jail sentence would affect Wood’s children and his parents whom he helped in Otley since his father had a stroke.

Wood, 34 of Springhill Lane, Wetherby admitted two charges of theft.