Victims were intimidated into paying hundreds of pounds for shoddy driveway repairs
A father and son from Doncaster have pleaded guilty at York Crown Court to conspiring to defraud elderly householders and laundering money from their fraud.
The defendants, Peter Kelly aged 51 and Peter Thomas Kelly aged 21, both of Holmewood Lane, Armthorpe, Doncaster targeted their victims in North and East Yorkshire between May and August 2014 whilst trading under the names RS Bitumen, Road Surfacing and Tarmac UK.
On 21 June 2016 they were sentenced to two years imprisonment. In addition, Peter Kelly was ordered to pay compensation of £3,950 and prosecution costs of £10,000.
The men were arrested in a joint operation between police and trading standards officers in August 2014, following an extensive operation by the National Trading Standards Scambuster Team (Yorkshire & the Humber).
The men went door-to-door, telling elderly residents that they had just completed contract work nearby and could repair or resurface their driveways at a small cost of £25 to dispose of their remaining stock.
However, as soon as work commenced the victims, some of whom were in their 80s, were told that the cost was actually £25 per metre and were then intimidated into making cash payments of hundreds of pounds. Those who did not have cash in the house were driven to the bank to make withdrawals.
After receiving payment the men disappeared, leaving the work incomplete. In all the incidents reported, examination of the work showed it to be of low quality, often requiring expensive work to correct.
Seven elderly victims who had lost a total of £3950 were identified. The defendants have pleaded guilty and the case has been adjourned for sentencing reports
Councillor Nigel Ayre, Executive Member with responsibility for Trading Standards at City of York Council, said:
“Exploiting and intimidating vulnerable residents will never be tolerated. I’m delighted that, thanks to the courage of those residents who came forward and the rigorous work of the Trading Standards and police officers, these perpetrators have been stopped. This sends a very clear warning to anyone thinking they can get away with doorstep crime.”
Lord Toby Harris, chair of National Trading Standards said:
“It is clear that these criminals operated their business with the sole purpose of misleading elderly homeowners. Doorstep crime continues to cost our communities dearly, leaving too many distressed and out of pocket.
“It is a priority for National Trading Standards to ensure that criminals who commit these sorts of crimes are brought to justice, so I am pleased that the Scambuster Team’s operation has led to this conviction.
“I urge anyone who is concerned about themselves, or others, being the victims of similar criminal activity to contact the Citizens Advice helpline on 03454 040506”.
Notes to Editors
About National Trading Standards
National Trading Standards provides leadership influence, support and resources to help combat consumer and business detriment locally, regionally and nationally.
- The National Trading Standards Board is a group of senior and experienced local government heads of trading standards, representing all trading standards services across England and Wales. The Board has been set up by the Government as part of changes to the consumer protection landscape and an enhanced role for trading standards.
- National Trading Standards funds the Scambuster Teams that target rogue trading, doorstep crime and scams, providing support across England and Wales through eight regionally based teams:
1.Central England Trading Standards Authorities (CeNTSA)
2.North East Trading Standards Authorities (NETSA)
3.Trading Standards East Midlands (TSEM)
4.Trading Standards North West (TSNW)
5.Tri Region Scambusters (TRS), on behalf of Trading Standards South East Ltd (TSSEL), East of England Trading Standards Association (EETSA) and London Trading Standards Association (LoTSA)
6.Trading Standards Partnership South West (SWERCOTS)
7.Yorkshire and Humber Trading Standards Group (YAHTSG) and
8.Wales Heads of Trading Standards (WHoTS)
There are separate arrangements in place in Scotland.
For more information please visit www.nationaltradingstandards.uk.