Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Stairlift fraudster jailed for conning elderly

A stairlift fraudster from Plymouth has been jailed for 14 months after he admitted conning elderly people out of thousands of pounds.Nigel Warren Roach posed as a stairlift repairer and falsely advised that products were irreparable, getting customers to order expensive and unnecessary replacements which were then not supplied, the court heard.

The court was told that the 35-year-old, from Peverell, was brought to the attention of trading standards in June 2005 when a complaint was made by an elderly couple who had been deprived of their savings and left stranded without access to all floors in their home.

He was investigated by Devon County Council and spokesman Brian Berman said Roach "cynically set out to deceive the elderly and disabled"."He took large sums of money from people for stairlifts and then didn't supply them," he said."In some cases he also took away their existing stairlift leaving them with no means of accessing the first floor of their homes."This case sends a clear warning signal to rogue traders across the region that this type of dishonest practice will not be tolerated."

Some 13 offences related to breaches of the Theft Act, Trade Descriptions Act, Consumer Protection Act, Fair Trading Act and Forgery and Counterfeiting Act. In total, Roach tricked customers out of £4,000.At Plymouth Crown Court, Judge Francis Gilbert QC also gave the police permission to investigate him under the Proceeds of Crime Act.