Two year jail sentence for rogue trader
A rogue trader who charged a Birmingham pensioner exorbitant fees for repairs labelled “the worst ever seen” by an expert has been jailed for two years.
At first Daniel Fitzpatrick denied that he had duped his victim, but he later admitted fraud and was sentenced to the term of imprisonment at Birmingham Crown Court.
Fitzpatrick cold-called a 73-year-old in Kingshurst in September last year, masquerading as a tradesman who had spotted loose tiles on the roof of their property.
He also claimed an upstairs bay window was damaged and the next day added chimney re-pointing to the list of repairs.
The 42-year-old demanded £500 upfront to pay for scaffolding and three days later handed over a bill totalling £2,500 which was settled by the pensioner from his life savings.
Fitzpatrick, who had previously been jailed for a similar offence and was out of prison on licence, appeared at the OAP’s door a number of months later saying follow-up repairs needed to be done. But the suspicious pensioner called the police.
Detectives arrested Fitzpatrick at his home in Elmdon Lane, Marston Green, and instructed a surveyor to check out the building work he had carried out.
The surveyor branded the chimney re-pointing as among “the worst workmanship he had ever seen” and said a competent builder would have only charged around £350.
DC Mark Delaney from Solihull Police CID, said: “It was the classic rogue trader scam – cold-calling elderly residents they deem more susceptible to their patter and who they can convince into handing over large sums of money.
“His victim did the right thing in reporting his suspicions to police and, when he appeared again to try and get even more money, we got patrol officers on the scene quickly to intercept his van and take his details.
“This wasn’t just a case of poor building work. Fitzpatrick conned a vulnerable man out of a hefty chunk of his savings for work experts rated as dreadful and, if anything, had done more damage than good.”