‘Cow­ard’ conned the el­derly

Jailed for trick­ing peo­ple into pay­ing for work that never took place

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS - by Steve Bax steve.bax@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

A COW­BOY work­man who conned el­derly Hilling­don res­i­dents out of thou­sands of pounds has been jailed for four and a half years.

Roy Stratford, 43, of no fixed ad­dress, posed as a roofer de­spite hav­ing no pro­fes­sional ex­pe­ri­ence in the trade, to con two el­derly cou­ples into pay­ing him for work that was never car­ried out.

Stratford ad­mit­ted two counts of fraud by false rep­re­sen­ta­tion dur­ing his trial at Isle­worth Crown Court and was jailed on Fe­bru­ary 23.

The court heard how he had preyed on an el­derly cou­ple in Oak­leigh Road, Uxbridge, pos­ing as a roofer on July 5, 2013.

He spent a cou­ple of hours at their ad­dress be­fore pre­sent­ing the cou­ple with a bill of £26,000 which they paid in cash, as­sum­ing the work had been car­ried out.

Stratford gave the vic­tims a re­ceipt from a non-ex­is­tent con­struc­tion firm in Iver, Buck­ing­hamshire.

An in­de­pen­dent sur­vey later es­tab­lished that the only al­ter­ation made was some felt­ing that Stratford had nailed in the roof in­te­rior.

The shock of dis­cov­er­ing the truth caused the el­derly woman to col­lapse from a fa­tal heart attack in front of her hus­band.

Stratford com­mit­ted sim­i­lar bo­gus vis­its to an ad­dress in Church Road, West Dray­ton, over a seven-day from Au­gust to Septem­ber 2013. On that oc­ca­sion the house­holder parted with around £16,000 in cash which was later dis­cov­ered paid only for the paint­ing of the chim­ney.

De­tec­tives at Hilling­don CID launched an in­ves­ti­ga­tion and it was quickly es­tab­lished that sim­i­lar of­fences were un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion else­where in the coun­try by a man fit­ting Stratford’s de­scrip­tion.

With the help of Wilt­shire Con­stab­u­lary, Stratford was ar­rested on Jan­uary 22 2014.

De­tec­tive Constable Anji Daw­son, from Hilling­ton CID, said: “Through­out this in­ves­ti­ga­tion, Stratford has never given an ex­pla­na­tion for his ac­tions nor has he shown any re­morse for his crimes.

“He is quite sim­ply a cow­boy and a cow­ard who tar­geted and ex­ploited the el­derly and vul­ner­a­ble for his own fi­nan­cial gain. He tricked his way into their homes and conned them out of their life sav­ings.”

DC Daw­son re­minded the public to al­ways ask to see the iden­ti­fi­ca­tion of callers and check sus­pi­cions with the po­lice.



Roy Stratford

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