A con man who was featured on Builders from Hell was jailed for six years after swindling an elderly woman of £120,000 from her life savings.
John Hart, 61, and three other men targeted the 88-year-old victim, draining her of money while they did poor-quality and unnecessary work at her rural home in Dorset.
The four rogue traders were jailed at Bournemouth Crown Court on Monday.
Hart, the ringleader, was already serving a prison sentence for a similar con on an elderly victim.
Police were alerted to the scam in 2015 when officials from the victim’s bank contacted them as they grew increasing concerned about the large transactions which kept appearing in the victim’s account.
John Hart who was featured on Builders form Hell was jailed for six years after swindling an elderly woman of £120,000 from her life savings
The elderly woman was initially contacted by John Hart, who over the period of two years was paid £56,400 pounds for work that wasn’t needed and a further £24,059 in cheques for work of poor quality and in some cases work which was not even necessary.
During the investigation, independent experts found that the work which had been carried out to the woman’s house, including roof repairs, insulation, damp proofing and general garden and home improvements were charged at excessive prices and the work either hadn’t been carried out or was of poor quality.
Hart’s accomplices, Daniel Baker, 40, Philip Budden, 37 and and Daniel Sherwood, 34 all from Bournemouth, were also sentenced at Bournemouth Crown Court.
Hart was jailed for six years and four months, Baker for two years and eight months, Budden for four years and six months and Sherwood was handed a five-year prison term.
Hart and Budden admitted fraud by false representation and Baker admitted money laundering offences at a hearing at the same court on Monday 2 October 2017.
Philip Budden admitted fraud by false representation and Baker admitted money laundering offences at a hearing at the same court on Monday 2 October 2017
Daniel Sherwood (left) and and Daniel Baker (right) were sentenced at Bournemouth Crown Court
Sherwood was convicted of two money laundering offences following a trial earlier this month.
Detective Inspector Fiona Gaffney said: ‘John Hart and Philip Budden befriended and targeted an elderly vulnerable woman and conned her into believing work was needed for her home.
‘They have now been handed lengthy prison sentences.
‘Dorset Police and the court takes these offences extremely seriously and we remain committed to protecting and safeguarding vulnerable residents.
‘I would ask members of the community to report any concerns about such activity to the police so it can be thoroughly investigated.
‘This case should also send out a very strong warning that Dorset Police will ensure all individuals benefitting from fraud, not just those directly involved, will be sought and prosecuted.’