Rogue Traders Admit £120k Wimborne Fraud

12 October 2017, 10:34

Judge's Gavel

A group of rogue traders will be sentenced later this month for conning an elderly woman in Wimborne out of her life savings.

She paid £120,000 to the men for unfinished or poorly completed work on her home - and was way overcharged.

John Hart, aged 61 and of Hannington Place in Bournemouth, and Philip Budden, 37 and of Malmesbury Park Road, pleaded guilty to fraud by false representation following a hearing at Bournemouth Crown Court on Monday 2 October.

Daniel Baker, 40 and of Cartwright Close in Bournemouth, admitted money laundering offences at the same hearing and Daniel Sherwood, 34 and of Ringwood Road in Bournemouth, was found guilty on Tuesday 10 October of two counts of money laundering following a five-day trial.

They will all be sentenced at Bournemouth Crown Court on Friday 27 October.

Officers from Dorset Police were alerted to the offences when on 23 July 2015 information was received from Lloyds Bank in Ferndown raising concerns about transactions on the victim’s account.

The victim was initially contacted by Hart (above), who enquired about installing house insulation as part of agovernment scheme. This resulted in her paying Hart £56,400 over the course of two years for work that was not needed.

Budden (above) also contacted the victim and obtained £24,059 in cheques for poor and unnecessary work. 

An unidentified man who claimed to work for the local authority attended the victim’s home and said he had found a water leak which had been traced to her address. The victim was asked to pay a total of £40,400 for the work to be repaired. There was no evidence of any work ever having taken place. Baker admitted to receiving the money but claimed he did not go to the address or meet the victim. This was not disputed by the prosecution, which also accepted that there was no evidence linking Baker to Hart and Budden. 

Sherwood was found guilty of receiving some of the money received by Baker.

The victim paid for further work to her home including repairs to her roof, insulation, damp proofing and general work around the house and garden. Independent experts ruled that the prices quoted were highly excessive and the work had either not been carried out or was of poor quality.

(Daniel Sherwood)

Officer in the case, Detective Inspector Fiona Gaffney said: 

“These men targeted a vulnerable elderly woman and conned her into thinking work was needed at her home. They charged extortionate rates for this work, which was either not carried out or completed to a poor standard.

“I am pleased with the verdict from the court today and I hope this case sends out a very strong message that Dorset Police takes these offences extremely seriously. We will do everything to safeguard vulnerable residents and I would urge members of the community to report any concerns about such activity to the police so it can be thoroughly investigated.”

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