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Local News

Vile rogue roofer conned elderly out of thousands for work that didn’t need doing

today24/09/2021

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A dodgy roofer who defrauded his victims out of thousands of pounds told one couple that their roof could have “killed somebody” to justify unrequired repairs.

Alfred Stephen Milner conned customers out of £7,800 between June 2017 and July 2018 – but this figure would have reached close to £70,000 if not for Sheffield Trading Standards getting involved.

The 65-year-old snared his victims using the same pattern each time, by agreeing low-cost quotes for minor roof repairs and then telling them that “urgent” and expensive further repairs were required.

For more news from South Yorkshire’s courts, click here.

In one case, he told a couple that he was surprised their roof had not “already killed somebody” and tried to charge them an additional £8,000 for a supporting steel beam that was not needed.

The rogue roofer, from South Kirby, Pontefract, pleaded guilty to fraud at Sheffield Crown Court and has been handed a 12-month Community Order, a curfew and has also been banned from working in the roofing trade until further notice.

As part of their investigation, Sheffield Trading Standards commissioned expert reports on the work carried out by Milner and, in each case, the expert concluded that the additional work that Milner had told his victims was essential, was not at all required and the work he had done was poor quality and expensive.

Milner’s victims included elderly and vulnerable people, from whom he tried to scam a further £50,000 for new roofs which were later assessed as being unnecessary and of such poor quality that they did not even comply with building regulations.

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In sentencing, Her Honour Judge Harrison told Milner that he had held himself out as a genuine businessman but had not behaved like a proper businessman would.

She said that he had played a significant role in the fraud, the victims of which were particularly vulnerable, for personal gain to fund his retirement.

“The upset and distress that has been caused [to the victims], as I have heard, is incalculable”, she said.

Judge Harrison sentenced Milner to a 12-month community order, 15 days rehabilitation and reparative community service and a three-month tagged curfew between 8pm and 8am.

In addition, she granted a Criminal Behaviour Order prohibiting him from working in the building trade until further notice.

Judge Harrison told him that a 21-month custodial sentence was appropriate however, due to his medical circumstances, custody could be avoided.

Councillor Paul Wood, Executive Member for Housing, Roads and Waste Management, said: “We are committed to protecting vulnerable people from rogue traders who take advantage. People pay good money to maintain their homes and have a right to expect reasonable and trustworthy service from businesses.

“Charging people excessive sums of money for unnecessary and inadequate work is unacceptable. This case should stand as a warning to others that we will take action against people who continuously disregard their obligations as a business.

“Special thanks to the Trading Standards Sheffield team who identified Milner was deceiving his customers and saved many people from losing thousands.”

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Written by: Rother Radio News


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today24/09/2021