‘Coward’ conned the elderly
Jailed for tricking people into paying for work that never took place
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.