Thursday, 18 Jul 2024

Cowboy builders mock elderly customer while 'bodging' work on his roof

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Three cowboy builders have been jailed after they recorded themselves ‘bodging’ a job while mocking their elderly customer.

Phone footage shows Matty Rossiter, 18, James Rossiter, 25, and Dean Smith, 21, saying ‘we find guys like this every day’ by ‘door-to-door knocking’ as they bragged about ripping off their client.

On several occasions, the group knocked on the doors of elderly people across Wiltshire, Gloucestershire and Bristol.

They told them that their roofs needed repairing – before overcharging them by thousands.

In one incident they filmed themselves on the roof demanding ‘quite a lot of money’ for their services from John Bray, 82.

The group charged him over £8,000 – and just replaced a few tiles.

The trio made £45,000 from crimes committed in 18 properties across Wiltshire, Gloucestershire and Bristol between October 2020 and March 2021.

On the phone footage, one of them says: ‘As you can see we’re doing some roofing work here. We’re doing some bodging.


‘As you see, what we’re doing is we are in some bungalows.

‘We’ve got two vans on the go – and as you can see, the guy we’re working for, he’s really old.’

The individual then calls out to John, from Calne, Wiltshire, saying: ‘John, we’re having quite a lot of money for this, aren’t we?’

He adds: ‘So we want to do you a good job. It’s worth doing right, isn’t it?

‘It’s your home, you need to live in it. So you don’t want any more problems on the roof after we’re gone, do you?’

The camera then turns to look at the badly repaired roof, before the cameraman adds: ‘As you can see here, we don’t need to pay thousands for advertisement.

‘It’s on the door-to-door knocking, what I’ve done for all my life, and we find guys like this every day. The door-to-door knocking. It’s the way forward.’

The work was later labelled by a chartered surveyor called by Wiltshire Trading Standards as ‘abysmal’.

It was ‘carried out with no attendant skill or competence’ and ‘probably without the use of appropriate hand tools’.

The group also used multiple names for their business varying by county, including Southern Homecare, Chippenham Roofing, Skyline Roofing, Wiltshire Roofing and Yate Roofing.

Mr Bray’s son, Steve, told the BBC that the group were ‘despicable’, and that he believed the death of his mother had been in part due to the fraud.

He told the BBC: ‘They made a video laughing and joking, insulting my dad, laughing and joking while they were doing more damage.

‘The feelings my parents had – the shame and embarrassment – my mum took that feeling to her grave. That’s the worst part.’

Matty and James Rossiter, both of Minety, in Wiltshire, admitted fraud by false representation and participating in a fraudulent business.

Matty Rossiter was jailed for two years and three months for the offence, and aged just 16 was one of the youngest offenders Wiltshire Trading Standards had discovered.

James Rossiter was also jailed for three years and four months, while Dean Smith, of Aldermaston, Berkshire, was sentenced to three years after pleading guilty to participating in a fraudulent business.

Judge Jason Taylor at Swindon Crown Court labelled the trio ‘industrial scale’ rogue builders, and reprimanded them for their ‘arrogance’ after laughing at their victim.

He said: ‘Over several months you mainly targeted elderly people and you viewed them as easy targets due to their vulnerability and felt no guilt about taking advantage of them.

‘Your arrogance is notable. There was significant planning. You knew the bungalows you targeted would be occupied by the elderly.’

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