Fraudster jailed for ‘disgraceful behaviour in targeting elderly and vulnerable people’
Tom Connors, 51, from 7 Shirenewton, was sentenced to two years in prison for fraud and unfair trading at Newport Crown Court on June 21st
June 27th, 2019
The case related to three elderly victims who were targeted by Connors to have work carried out on their homes. In December 2017, an elderly clergyman, who was in his late eighties and suffered from mobility problems, was cold called by Connors to tell him that he had cracked tiles at the back of his property which needed to be replaced. Connors originally quoted £4,000 for the work, but later reduced this to £3,500 as a special discount if the elderly gentleman had the work carried out before Christmas.
There was no paperwork provided and the gentleman was not advised of his cancellation rights. An independent expert surveyor gave evidence to suggest that he didn't believe the work was necessary and if it was it should have cost £700.
In July 2018, a second victim - a 70 year old man - was approached by Connors on a street close to his home and was persuaded to hand over £6,400 for work which apparently needed to be carried out in his back garden. Luckily on this occasion no money was given to Connors, as trading standards officers intervened.
The third fraud took place in March 2019, when an elderly woman was cold called by Connors and was told that he had been instructed to carry out work on the roof of a block of flats where the women lived. Connors took £9,000 from the lady and returned later to demand even more money for VAT, even though he wasn't VAT registered.
In mitigation, Defence Counsel, Kevin Seal, told the court that Connors was 51 years old and a family man, he entered guilty pleas so that the victims didn't have to give evidence in court and that there was a ‘genuine indication of remorse'.
Connor's case was described by Judge Jeremy Jenkins as ‘disgraceful behaviour in targeting elderly and vulnerable people' and running his business ‘aggressively and dishonestly.'
Cllr Michael Michael, Cabinet Member for the Shared Regulatory Service at Cardiff Council said:
"This was a ruthless case, where Thomas Connors obviously carried out extensive research to target elderly and vulnerable victims before he fraudulently stole as much of their life savings as possible.
"The defence given that Connors is genuinely remorseful is questionable, to put it mildly, and I only wish that the sentencing guidelines for these despicable crimes gave longer sentences.
"Targeting elderly and vulnerable people and taking their money for work which is both not needed and not necessary is a disgrace and the case has now been adjourned so we can make applications for compensation, costs and try to impose a Criminal Behaviour Order to stop Connors offending again, after he is released from prison."